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The Republic of El Salvador #fundie #sexist washingtonpost.com

A Salvadoran woman charged in the death of her stillborn baby was cleared Monday, a ruling advocates say is a notable triumph in a country with one of the world’s most severe abortion bans.

A judge’s decision to acquit 21-year-old Evelyn Hernández marks the culmination of a tragic saga that began when she was raped at the age of 18, her lawyers said. Those close to Hernández say she didn’t know she was nearly 34 weeks pregnant in 2016, when she walked into a latrine and delivered a stillborn child. Her mother found her, bleeding and unconscious, before rushing her to a hospital.

Paula Avila Guillen, director of Latin America Initiatives at the Women’s Equality Center, said a doctor concluded that Hernández’s condition was a result of an “incomplete abortion.” Police discovered her fetus in the latrine and charged Hernández with aggravated homicide. In 2017, she was handed a 30-year prison sentence.

“Mere suspicion of possible abortion immediately makes [women] guilty, presumption of innocence gets erased,” said Guillen, who worked closely with Hernández’s defense team. “When police were notified, they shackled her to a hospital bed and interrogated her.”

[Women serving decades-long prison terms for abortion in El Salvador hope change is coming]

Hernández spent 33 months in prison and was released in February after a successful appeal. In an attempt to retry Hernández on the same charges, prosecutors last week fought to increase her sentence to 40 years, arguing that she had lied about being raped and should have known she was pregnant.

The woman bled frequently and faced other obstetric ailments during her pregnancy, Guillen said, which she confused with her period.

The judge “simply couldn’t see enough evidence to be convinced she had done anything to commit any crimes,” Guillen said. “It was the right thing to do.”

Several Latin American countries have stringent abortion laws, including Argentina, where an 11-year-old rape victim was forced to give birth in February, even though the girl had repeatedly asked for an abortion. But no restriction is more severe than El Salvador’s absolute ban, which has been in place since the late 1990s and applies even if a mother’s life is in danger.

Guillen and other advocates say the ban is applied arbitrarily and specifically targets poor women in El Salvador who lack access to quality medical care. Even in instances of miscarriage, prosecutors in the country seek homicide or manslaughter charges on top of abortion-related counts.

Hernández’s case was remedied only after a painstaking process, and Guillen notes that this was just the second time a judge in the country has ruled that a stillbirth or miscarriage was not criminal. About 20 women remain imprisoned under similar circumstances, Guillen said.

But slowly, some of them have had their charges commuted or dismissed.

In December, Imelda Cortez was released after spending about 18 months in prison for attempted murder. She also gave birth to a baby in a latrine, but the infant survived, and prosecutors argued that she hid her pregnancy and was negligent. Cortez contended she was a rape victim and did not know she was pregnant.

Four months later, three Salvadoran women charged with aggravated homicide after suffering miscarriages had their sentences commuted. They’d spent a collective 29 years in prison.

“The stories are all so similar because they all follow a pattern of persecution of women who have stillbirths and are impoverished,” Guillien said. “You have to mobilize the world to save one woman; that’s what it takes in El Salvador."

Morena Herrera, an prominent advocate for women’s rights in the country, said in a statement that Hernández’s acquittal “is a sign of hope for all women who remain in jail for crimes they did not commit, for health problems that should have never been brought to court."

“It is a hope for Salvadoran society because we are beginning to take steps along the path of justice, of truth and of well-being for everyone,” Herrera added. “No woman should go through the ordeal that Evelyn did.”

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Rafi Peretz #fundie #homophobia washingtonpost.com

JERUSALEM — Israel’s newly-appointed education minister has sparked outrage after saying in a televised interview broadcast Saturday that he believes it is possible to perform conversion therapy on homosexuals to change their sexual orientation.

Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, head of the far-right, ultranationalist Jewish Home Party, also told Channel 12 News that he had carried out such treatments in the past, counseling young religious students who spoke to him about being gay.

“I think it is possible. I can tell you I have a very deep familiarity with this kind of education, and I have also done this,” said the education minister when asked if he thought people could change such inclinations. 

Peretz, a former chief military rabbi, described counseling one student, “I hugged him first then uttered very warm words, I told him that we needed to think about this, learn about this, observe this. The objective is for him first of all to know himself and then I can give him the data.” 

Peretz became minister for education three weeks ago as part of a coalition deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has engaged in some complex political maneuvering to maintain his interim government as Israel heads toward its second general election this year to be held on Sept. 17. 

Peretz’s comments could now play a pivotal role in the election campaigning, possibly having a negative impact on Netanyahu’s reelection chances. Leaders of several rival parties said Sunday that a government expressing such extreme views was dragging the country back into the Dark Ages.

Netanyahu was quick to distance himself from Peretz’s comments, saying in a statement, “the education minister’s remarks regarding the gay community are not acceptable to me and do not reflect the position of the government under my leadership.”  

Also, in the interview, Peretz said he believed Israel should annex the entire West Bank, but under no circumstances allow the more than two million Palestinians living there the right to political vote.

“Israel should have full sovereignty in the West Bank,” said Peretz. “We will take care of [the Palestinians’] needs and make sure it is good for them … but of course they would not be able to vote.”

[Netanyahu’s election rivals merge as Israeli leader makes pact with extreme right]

Members of Israel’s LGBTQ community said they would hold a protest Sunday evening decrying Peretz’s comments and call for his resignation. 

“There is only one adequate response to such dark statements by the minister of education and that is to fire him immediately,” The National Association of LGBT in Israel said in a statement. “It is imperative to prevent Israeli girls and boys from exposure to the homophobic poison disseminated by one who is presumed to be involved with education and values.”

Israeli radio stations on Sunday interviewed individuals who had been subjected to such conversion attempts. 

“You are told to punish yourself for thinking about boys and it brings you to a very low point,” Shai Bramson, who said he was treated for three years as a teenager, told Israel’s Army Radio. “You are told that there is no hope for you unless you change this identity.”

Zvi Fishel, chairman of the Israel Psychiatric Association, said Peretz’s comments were “disgraceful and disturbing.” 

“The Israel Medical Association, the Israel Psychiatric Association and many other medical associations in Israel and around the world have determined there is no treatment that can replace a person's sexual orientation,” he said in a statement. “Conversion treatments that purport to change sexual orientation, not only have been scientifically proved useless, [they] pose a danger, and cause serious harm to the patient’s psyche, the sense of failure and may lead to suicide.”

Nitzan Horowitz, head of the left-wing Meretz Party, himself openly gay, called Peretz irresponsible and said his statements were very dangerous.  

“You are not a minister of education, but a minister of darkness. You are not worthy of being responsible for the future of our children. You must be removed from being minister of education to a position where you will cause less damage,” said Horowitz.

In an attempted to clarify, Peretz released a statement saying he didn’t mean it was necessary to send children to conversion therapy.

“In my years as an educator I have met with students who were in terrible distress with regard to their sexual orientation and decided to request professional help in order to change,” he said. “The school system under my leadership will continue to accept all of the boys and girls in Israel, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Last week, Peretz also caused a stir when it was reported that during a cabinet meeting he had likened the rate of intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews in the United States to “a second Holocaust.”

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William Latson #racist washingtonpost.com

A Florida high school principal has apologized for telling a parent concerned about Holocaust education that he couldn’t say the World War II genocide was “a factual, historical event,” adding that “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened.”

Spanish River Community High School principal William Latson made the comments in emails to the parent in April 2018, according to the Palm Beach Post, which first publishedcopies of the messages last week. The public high school located in Boca Raton, Fla., is believed to have one of the county’s largest populations of Jewish students, the Post reported.

“I regret that the verbiage that I used when responding to an email message from a parent, one year ago, did not accurately reflect my professional and personal commitment to educating all students about the atrocities of the Holocaust,” Latson said in a statement to the newspaper.

The contents of Latson’s emails have since prompted fierce backlash amid growing nationwide concern over Holocaust education in the United States. Earlier this month, the World Jewish Congress launched a petition in support of federal legislation that would make teaching the Holocaust mandatory in schools, noting an “alarming rise in antisemitism” in the U.S. and abroad and a declining public understanding of the atrocity.

In a statement Sunday, Palm Beach County’s school board chairman Frank A. Barbieri Jr. wrote that the board “is, and always has been, committed to teaching all students, in every grade level, a historically accurate Holocaust curriculum; one which leaves no room for erroneous revisions of fact or the scourge of anti-Semitism.” Barbieri added that the situation involving Latson is “being investigated at the highest levels of the District Administration.”

“Every generation must recognize, and learn from, the atrocities of the Holocaust’s incomprehensible suffering and the enduring stain that it left on humankind,” he wrote. “It is only through high quality education, and thought provoking conversations, that history won’t repeat itself.”

The principal and the Palm Beach County School District did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post late Sunday.

Latson’s troubles began when a mother emailed him with a question on April 13, 2018: “in what ways/classes is Holocaust education provided to all of the students?” (The emails were obtained by the Palm Beach Post.)

A bill passed in 1994 requires all school districts in Florida to incorporate lessons on the Holocaust as part of public school education, but the mother wrote that Spanish River’s offerings on the subject were not mandatory and were only attended by “the minority of students.” A 2018 study conducted by Brandeis University reported that the number of Jewish children living in Palm Beach County increased from 11,000 in 2005 to 17,300 in 2018.

In response to the parent’s email, the principal wrote that Holocaust studies are “dealt with in a variety of ways.” However, he noted that the “curriculum is to be introduced but not forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs.” Latson referenced an optional annual Holocaust assembly intended for 10th-graders and said the topic is also “covered in the various social science courses it aligns with.”

According to the Post, the mother, who was not identified, wrote back and asked Latson to explain his stance, telling him that, “The Holocaust is a factual, historical event” and “not a right or a belief.”

But rather than apologize, Latson appeared to stand firm.

“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened and you have your thoughts but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs so they will react differently,” Latson wrote in a subsequent email, adding, “my thoughts or beliefs have nothing to do with this because I am a public servant."

Latson said his position dictates he be “politically neutral,” while continuing to “support all groups in the school.”

“I work to expose students to certain things but not all parents want their students exposed so they will not be and I can’t force that issue,” he wrote. “I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in the position to do so as a school district employee."

The principal added that he approaches lessons about slavery in the same way, writing, “I do allow information about the Holocaust to be presented and allow students and parents to make decisions about it accordingly.”

Unsatisfied with Latson’s answer, the mother met several times with the principal and school district officials to propose changes, which included making the Holocaust memoir “Night” by Elie Wiesel required reading for all 10th-grade English students, the Post reported. She also suggested that Holocaust assemblies be offered to all students and not just 10th-graders, according to the Post.

As a result of her efforts, “Night” became mandatory reading for sophomores this past school year, and Palm Beach County deputy superintendent and chief of schools Keith Oswald told the Post that the assemblies are slated to happen next year.

Oswald said Latson was counseled about the emails, but not formally disciplined. The school district administrator defended Latson, touting the longtime principal’s success leading one of Palm Beach County’s largest public schools. Latson has been the school’s principal since 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“It was a hastily, poorly written email that he apologized for,” Oswald said. “That’s some of the challenge that we face when we email back and forth instead of picking up the phone.”

Laura Fellman, a member of the school’s advisory council, told the Post that she also didn’t think the emails represented Latson’s actual beliefs. Fellman wrote in an email that she has heard Latson “say he knows that the Holocaust happened” and praised him for working “diligently” to “make sure that Spanish River’s students are well informed about the Holocaust.”

Latson’s emails, however, did not sit well with Karen Brill, the only Jewish member of the county school board, the Post reported. “The Holocaust is a historical fact, and I am appalled that anyone in our district believes that its teaching may be opted out of,” Brill said.

The newspaper reported that Latson toured the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington this summer. In his statement, Latson said it is “critical, as a society, we hold dear the memory of the victims and hold fast to our commitment to counter anti-Semitism.”

Despite Latson’s apology, critics blasted him as a “Holocaust denier” and a petition calling for his resignation had more than 4,000 signatures as of early Monday.

But in the April 2018 email exchange, Latson made it clear that he was “not looking for a situation to divide.”

“My personal beliefs are separate and will always be as they have no place in my profession,” he wrote. “I am simply letting you know we do all we can as a public school within our ability.”

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Mitch McConnell #racist washingtonpost.com

Congressional Republicans have made their decision: Most of them are defending or at least not speaking out against President Trump amid the fallout from his “go back” remarks directed at four minority congresswomen.

But how do you defend racist language from the president of the United States? It appeared particularly difficult for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose wife is an immigrant, a woman of color and a member of Trump’s Cabinet. Reporters asked McConnell multiple times at his regular Tuesday news conference why he’s standing by the president on this, and McConnell didn’t have an answer. (The most obvious answer, of course, is that Republicans have a lot to lose by speaking out against Trump.)

Here’s the telling exchange between McConnell and reporters, annotated. Click on the highlighted text to read the annotation.

MCCONNELL: Yeah?

QUESTION: Several of you, including Senator Young, have talked about socialism and — and problems with which you have — policies and approaches with some of these Democratic members. That said, then the president uses such language that’s so far over the line, regardless of what their points of view are, or policies. Doesn’t that undercut your argument that these issues are — are a problem? That these policies, these approaches are a problem for the country? Doesn’t that undercut your argument, when he uses [language like that]?

MCCONNELL: Well, obviously, I think it’s a good idea to focus on what our Democratic colleagues are up to. The Green New Deal, their version of it, would take away your job. Medicare-for-all would take away your private health insurance. And if they made any effort to pay for all of this, they’d have to go after the most productive parts of our economy, because remember, the top 10 percent of taxpayers provide 70 percent of the revenue for the federal government. So I think this is a prescription for slowing America to a crawl. And I think it’s also important to remember that most countries that ended up adopting socialism did it by voting for it. As Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is, pretty soon, you run out of other people’s money.” So yes, I think we’re better off to talk about the policies of our adversaries. And as I said earlier, and I think, quite clearly, to lower all this incendiary rhetoric. Everyone involved should do that.

QUESTION: Senator McConnell, you’re — you’re married to an immigrant who’s a nationalized [sic] U.S. citizen. If someone were to say to her she should go back to her country because of her criticism of federal policies, wouldn’t you consider that a racist attack?

MCCONNELL: Well, the secretary of transportation came here at age 8 legally, not speaking a word of English, and has realized the American Dream, and I think all of us think that this is a process of renewal that’s gone on in this country for a very long time and is good for America, and we ought to continue it.

QUESTION: Was it racist for him to say go back to your country?

MCCONNELL: As I said, legal immigration has been a fulfilling of the American Dream. The new people who come here have a lot of ambition, a lot of energy, tend to do very well and invigorate our country, and my wife’s a good example of that.

QUESTION: Would you ever use the words, “Go back to where you came from”?

MCCONNELL: Look, I — I — I’m obviously a big fan of legal immigration. It’s been a big part of my family for a quarter of a century. As I look around the country and watch the contributions that have been made by new arrivals, and the children of new arrivals, it’s been reinvigorating America for hundreds of years. So I’m a big fan of legal immigration.

QUESTION: Do you think that the president would be more likely to tone down his rhetoric if Republican leaders like yourself spoke out more forcefully against it?

MCCONNELL: Well, I think I’ve just said I think everybody ought to tone down their rhetoric. We have examples of that across the ideological spectrum in the country — all across it. Everyone ought to tone down their rhetoric, and we ought to move back to talking about the issues.

QUESTION: But you’ve stopped short of calling his comments racist.

MCCONNELL: Look, I — I’m sorry?

QUESTION: You’ve stopped — but you’ve stopped short of calling his comments racist.

MCCONNELL: Well, the president’s not a racist. (CROSSTALK.) The president’s not a racist. And I think the tone of all of this is not good for the country, but it’s coming from all different ideological points of view. That’s the point. To single out any segment of this, I think, is a mistake. There’s been this kind of rhetoric from a whole lot of different sources all across the ideological spectrum in our country.

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Kevin McCarthy #racist #wingnut washingtonpost.com

McCarthy said during a morning news conference he would vote against the resolution and encourage other Republicans to do the same. McCarthy said he did not consider Trump’s tweets to be racist, but about “socialism versus freedom.”

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Ned Holstein #sexist washingtonpost.com

[Alabama law doesn’t automatically terminate the parental rights of rapists who conceive a child with their victim]

Ned Holstein, board chair for the National Parents Organization, which advocates for shared parenting after divorce, said that allowing family courts to sever parental rights based on rape accusations is “an open invitation to fraud.”


“Taking a person’s child away is a grievous act,” he said. “And if it is done to an innocent parent, you are also denying the child a fit parent forever and putting her into the sole custody of a ruthless parent who is willing to fabricate a heinous accusation.”


Even if a person is convicted of rape, “there is merit on both sides of this issue, and we have no position on it, either way,” he said of his organization.

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Grayson Fritts #fundie #homophobia washingtonpost.com

(Some snippets from pastor, sheriff, and anti-LGBTQ screamer Grayson Fritts.)

…For roughly an hour, Fritts, who is also a detective with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, railed against members of the LGBTQ community –– referring to them as “sodomites,” “freaks” and “animals” –– and called on the government to carry out the proper punishment for the “capital crime.”

….“They are worthy of death,” he declared in a video originally released by the church that was later shared on social media.

…“I’m sick of sodomy getting crammed down our throats,” Fritts said at one point in the video, drawing attention to Taylor Swift’s recent efforts to fight anti-LGBTQ bills going through Tennessee’s state legislature.

“It’s infecting our culture, people,” he continued, later insisting that American culture had changed but the Bible isn’t “outdated.”

Fritts argued that the Bible demands that gays be put to death. And throughout the sermon, he spoke passionately about how it is the responsibility of the government to enforce those supposed teachings, not individual Christians — unless they are also police officers.

“God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to the LGBT freaks and arrest them and have a trial for them, and if they are convicted, then they are to be put to death,” he said, earning approving murmurs from the crowd. Fritts later added that the “Bible says that sentence should be carried out speedily.”

These days, Fritts said it would be easy to spot a member of the LGBTQ community. They’re in grocery stores and your neighborhood Lowe’s being “flamboyant” and “walking around like a bunch of Twinkies,” he said. And then, there are the Pride parades.

“Man, hey call the riot team, we got a bunch of them,” Fritts said. “We have a bunch of them we’re going to get convicted because they have all their pride junk on, and they’re professing what they are, that they’re a filthy animal.”


One week later, LGBTQ people appeared to still be on Fritts’s mind as he dedicated another hour to delivering a sermon titled, “Sodomite Reprobates,” which he kicked off by griping about people “trying to mischaracterize our stance on homosexuals.”

“What I believe about homosexuals is straight from the word of God,” he said last Sunday.

…“The world looks at it and they’re like, ‘Oh, there’s Pastor Fritts. There’s that lone wolf . . . that one guy, that one Baptist pastor that’s just a lunatic, that’s just crazy,'” he said. “Guess what, there’s a lot of people that believe exactly like I believe.”


The problem now, Fritts said, is that all his “Baptist brethren have put their heads in the sand” because they don’t want to deal with the widespread criticism he’s facing.

“They’re weak, they’re spineless, and you know what, if the Bible says it, you need to say it. You need to preach it,” he said as people in the crowd could be heard saying “Amen” and “That’s right.”

But his words did little to quell the outrage as many continued to accuse him of “inciting violence” against the LGBTQ community and labeled him a “bigot.”

…“I’m not calling anybody in here to arms,” he said. “I’m not calling anybody here to violence. I’m saying it’s the government’s responsibility is what I said.”

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Dominoes Pizza and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce #ableism washingtonpost.com

Domino’s sells more than 2.5 million pizzas every day, and the company says it offers at least 15 ways to order one. But Guillermo Robles, who is blind, said neither the company’s website nor its mobile app allowed him to order the pizza he wanted, or receive a discount for ordering online.

He sued.

Now Domino’s, backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the nation’s largest retailers, wants the Supreme Court to step in to decide whether the Americans With Disabilities Act, which has transformed America’s physical landscape, applies equally to the Internet.

The ADA “says nothing about the accessibility of websites or applications on smartphones, whether standing alone or in connection with restaurants, stores, or any other brick-and-mortar establishments that qualify as public accommodations,” wrote Washington lawyer Lisa S. Blatt, who represents Domino’s.

“When Congress passed the ADA in 1990, websites were in their infancy, and apps did not yet exist.”

Lower courts have said the statute does apply, although they have disagreed about exactly when and to whom. As a result, the number of lawsuits has exploded: 2,250 federal suits asserting ADA violations based on website inaccessibility were filed in 2018, nearly triple the number from the year before, according to the Domino’s brief.

Beyoncé’s website has been targeted. So have art galleries in New York.

And the National Retail Federation tells the Supreme Court in a friend-of-the-court brief that its website doesn’t comply with industry standards, either.

The group ran supremecourt.govthrough a free online resource that applies Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) developed by private parties and found “19 ‘known problems’ and 411 ‘potential problems.’ ”

“Only this court’s intervention can establish a true nationwide standard establishing the proper scope” of website accessibility, writes Washington lawyer Pratik A. Shah, representing the retailers. “It is time for this court to bring order to a chaotic legal landscape marked by unpredictable and unworkable accessibility standards that run counter to the goals of the ADA, consumers, and the retailers who serve them.”

Businesses have rallied around the Robles case in their effort to persuade the Supreme Court to intervene, even as they profess that it would be in their best interests to make their goods as accessible as possible.

Robles sued because he said his attempts in 2016 to use the Domino’s website and mobile app to order a pizza for delivery were unsuccessful.

A federal judge in California agreed with Robles that the ADA covered websites but dismissed the lawsuit. He agreed with Domino’s that its due process rights would be violated because the Department of Justice has never made good on its obligation to issue guidance on exactly how websites and apps should comply with Title III of the act, which concerns public accommodations.

But earlier this year, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit disagreed.

“At least since 1996, Domino’s has been on notice that its online offerings must effectively communicate with its disabled customers and facilitate ‘full and equal enjoyment’ of Domino’s goods and services,” Circuit Judge John B. Owens wrote.

He added: “While we understand why Domino’s wants DOJ to issue specific guidelines for website and app accessibility, the Constitution only requires that Domino’s receive fair notice of its legal duties, not a blueprint for compliance with its statutory obligations.”

The judges sent the case back for the lower court judge to decide whether Domino’s has complied with its obligations, saying “courts are perfectly capable of interpreting the meaning of ‘equal’ and ‘effective.’ ”

Domino’s and the business interests urging the court’s intervention said the decision in the 9th Circuit — which covers California and most of the western United States — was a game-changer.

“Virtually every national business and non-profit offers its goods and services at physical locations within the Ninth Circuit,” Domino’s tells the court, so its rule “will apply nationwide no matter what. No one can tailor their online presence to fit different rules in different circuits.”

But Eve Hill, a Baltimore attorney who has worked on website accessibility cases for the National Federation of the Blind and at Justice, said the decision “breaks no new ground.”

Courts across the country have found that websites and apps must comply with the ADA, she said. Companies may not like the message, but that doesn’t mean there is a need for the Supreme Court’s attention.

And she said the Justice Department’s inability to issue guidelines for compliance — it announced in 2017 that it was giving up the effort — does not mean companies are helpless. The lack of a national standard could be seen “as a feature, not a bug,” freeing companies to comply in different ways, Hill said.

In the Domino’s petition, and the accompanying amicus briefs, is a familiar battle between companies and lawyers who sue them.

Gregory G. Garre, representing the Chamber of Commerce, told the court that an “opportunistic plaintiff’s bar” has discovered “a lucrative sue-and-settle practice against businesses.”

“Businesses now face a rising sea of litigation that flows from one venue to another as plaintiffs’ lawyers seek out the most favorable local precedent, leaving companies unable to tell what standards they should meet in order to provide access and avoid liability,” he wrote.

Domino’s said the firm representing Robles has filed 14 suits on his behalf, and more than three dozen for a Montana resident. Joseph R. Manning Jr., the Newport Beach, Calif., lawyer who represents Robles, said in an email that he was not discussing the pending case.

He is due to respond to the pizza chain’s petition to the high court next month.

But Hill said the explosion in the number of lawsuits was simply a result of the explosion in new websites and apps.

Her client, the National Federation of the Blind, is not interested in “stick-up lawsuits,” she said, but securing companies’ compliance in opening the web to people with disabilities.

The case is Domino’s v. Robles.

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Craig Northcott #fundie #homophobia washingtonpost.com

Y’all need to know who your DA is,” he reminded the crowd. “You give us a lot of authority. . . . We can choose to prosecute anything. We can choose not to prosecute anything.”


Using what he termed “prosecutorial discretion,” Northcott said, “the social engineers on the Supreme Court now decided we have homosexual marriage. I disagree with them.”
In his jurisdiction, which includes the area that hosts the summer music festival Bonnaroo, Northcott ensured that same-sex partners would not be afforded the protections of domestic violence laws.


In Tennessee, a domestic assault conviction carries enhanced punishments, like permanently forfeiting the right to own a firearm. The prosecutor’s interpretation of the statute was that the sanctions were created to “recognize and protect the sanctity of marriage.”


When reached by phone, Northcott said, “There’s no marriage to protect with homosexual relationships, so I don’t prosecute them as domestic,” and refused to comment further.

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Craig Northcott #fundie washingtonpost.com

Less than two months ago, he was severely criticized for saying that Muslims have “no constitutional rights."


“There are only God-given rights protected by the Constitution. If you don’t believe in the one true God, there is nothing to protect,” News Channel 5 quoted him as saying in response to a claim that Muslims worshiped the same God as he.
Northcott refused to apologize and dismissed calls for his resignation at the time.

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Jason Kenney #fundie #homophobia washingtonpost.com

When Lea Cheeseman came out as bisexual in the ninth grade, her junior high school didn’t have a club for LGBT students. So she started the Calgary school’s first gay-straight alliance.

The student-run clubs, found in hundreds of schools across North America, provide a venue for gay students and their allies to meet — often without the knowledge of their parents. Studies suggest they can help reduce bullying, improve health outcomes and lessen the risk of suicide.

But across Canada and beyond, they have also been lightning rods for controversy, touching as they do on divisive debates around education, parental consent, religious freedom and students’ rights.

Now the United Conservative government of new Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, promoted by some on the Canadian right as a model for the nation, is proposing legislation that gay rights activists say would roll back protections for the groups. The education bill would eliminate a requirement that schools form clubs “immediately” when asked by students and would drop an explicit ban on notifying their parents.

Provincial Education Minister Adriana LaGrange has said that those provisions might have been well intentioned but were “unnecessary to begin with.” The aim of the new legislation, LaGrange said, “is to balance the need that, at times, students have around the way that they want to create their organization, but also to allow for occasions where there is a need for parents to be involved as well.”

Cheeseman, now 19, and others say gay-straight alliances are under assault in Alberta. Thousands have taken to the streets of Edmonton and other communities to protest.

“The end result of the changes will be that students will not feel safe,” Cheeseman said.

The education bill, which encompasses school policy, planning and funding, is one in a series of measures advanced by the United Conservatives to reverse the liberal policies of their New Democratic predecessors in Alberta, while also pushing back against the Liberal Party of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa.

In their first months in office, the United Conservatives have repealed a consumer carbon tax, cut the minimum wage for teenagers and introduced legislation to slash corporate taxes.

While federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer struggles to connect with voters ahead of the federal election this fall, and Progressive Conservative Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s popularity plummets amid unpopular budget cuts and scandal, conservatives are pointing at Kenney, 51, as a model for effective leadership.

The former federal cabinet minister once promised not to legislate on “divisive social issues.” But in changing the rules on gay-straight student alliances (GSAs), his government is taking on one of the most divisive.

In 2015, Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government required school officials to approve the clubs in every school, public or private, where a student requested one.

Supporters of the clubs cheered the move — but their celebrations were short-lived.

“School administrators were dragging their feet on establishing GSAs, encouraging students to call them something else or suggesting to them that if they formed or joined GSAs, they would tell their parents,” said former education lawyer Rakhi Pancholi, a New Democratic Party lawmaker.

The New Democratic Party approved legislation in 2017 to close those loopholes. Bill 24 required schools to help students establish the clubs “immediately” and made it illegal for officials to disclose student participation to parents, except when students were at risk of harm. Failure to comply could cost a school its funding.

Zachery Yeung was president of the Pride Club at his Edmonton high school last school year. Before Bill 24, he said, friends were “on the fence” about joining a gay-straight alliance, because they feared they would be outed.

“They were more comfortable after the changes,” the 18-year-old said.

Not everyone was pleased. Some faith-based schools said the legislation infringed upon their religious freedom. Some parents said they had the right to know of their children’s participation.

The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms sought an injunction on behalf of dozens of faith-based schools and parents until it could be determined that the law was constitutional. In filings, the group described the clubs as “secret spaces” that exposed students to sexually explicit material, caused “irreparable harm” and violated parental rights.

Justice Johnna Kubik denied the request. In her decision, she wrote that an injunction would send LGBT students the message that “their diverse identities are less worthy of protection,” which would be “considerably more harmful than temporarily limiting a parent’s right to know and make decisions about their child’s involvement in a GSA.”

Kenney said in March that he supported allowing schools to notify parents if their children joined a GSA. After he was elected premier in April, students at nearly 90 Alberta schools walked out in protest.

His government’s education bill, which is expected to pass before September, would repeal Bill 24. There would be no deadline for school administrators to grant a student’s request to establish a club, and students would no longer be assured the right to use words such as “gay” and “queer” in the names of their clubs.

The bill would also eliminate language that explicitly prohibited teachers from disclosing a student’s participation to his or her parents. Instead, schools would be required to follow other laws, which allow school club participation to be disclosed if it would not be an “unreasonable invasion” of privacy, to minimize the risk of harm to a student or to aid law enforcement investigations.

Critics say that the changes will allow schools to delay club formation indefinitely and that relying on current privacy legislation leaves too much open to the interpretation of teachers. What, for example, is an “unreasonable invasion” of privacy?

“Teachers are not legal experts,” said Greg Jeffrey, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. “So we appreciated the clarity of ‘You cannot disclose.’ ”

“Taking out the word ‘immediately’ allows for forming a GSA to be put off with the hopes that students lose interest,” he said.

LaGrange did not respond to questions from The Washington Post about whether there would be a deadline for a school to form a gay-straight alliance before the government stepped in. A spokesman said the government opposes “mandatory parental notification of any student’s involvement in an inclusion group, including GSAs.”

“Alberta will have the most comprehensive statutory protections for LGBTQ2S+ students in Canada,” spokesman Colin Aitchison wrote in an email. He said the government “trusts educators to navigate these situations and do what is in the best interest of kids.”

Kristopher Wells, a professor at MacEwan University in Edmonton who studies sexual and gender minority youth and health, said the government is “softening and obscuring the language” around gay-straight alliances, “creating confusion and ambiguity.”

The clubs represent “one of the most promising health interventions that we’ve seen in a long, long time in schools,” he said, and it would be a mistake to make it more difficult for students to join them.

“We’d expect to see something like this in Alabama, not Alberta in 2019.”

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Tom Barrack #fundie washingtonpost.com

With a bone-chilling bloodlessness, Barrack on Tuesday defended the Saudi government’s murder of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Asked at a Milken Institute gathering in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, about the murder, Barrack replied that “whatever happened in Saudi Arabia, the atrocities in America are equal or worse than the atrocities in Saudi Arabia.” He added: “For us to dictate what we think is the moral code there .?.?. I think is a mistake.”?

Incredibly, that wasn’t all. “The problem with what’s happened with the Khashoggi incident is the same problems of the West misunderstanding the East” for a century, Barrack said. “The West is confused at the rule of the law, doesn’t understand what the rule of law is in the kingdom.”

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Tamara Crowchief & Judge Harry Van Harten #racist washingtonpost.com

Yelling ‘I hate white people’ and punching one isn’t a hate crime, Canadian judge rules

Tamara Crowchief may have yelled "I hate white people" as she carried out a violent assault on a white person, but that doesn't mean her attack was racially motivated, a Canadian judge has ruled.

The attack occurred outside a pub in Calgary, Canada, on Nov. 1, according to the Calgary Herald. Crowchief's victim, identified as Lydia White, lost a tooth in the assault, the paper reported.

Prosecutor Karuna Ramakrishnan had tried to put Crowchief behind bars for 12 to 15 months by arguing that the indigenous woman's "unprovoked" actions represented a hate crime, the paper reported. But Judge Harry Van Harten of the provincial court strongly disagreed.

“The offender said, ‘I hate white people’ and threw a punch,” Van Harten told those gathered in the court during his ruling. “There is no evidence either way about what the offender meant or whether . . . she holds or promotes an ideology which would explain why this assault was aimed at this victim. I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that this offense was, even in part, motivated by racial bias.”

The Calgary Herald reported that the attack happened suddenly and without warning.

White was standing outside the pub talking to another person when Crowchief walked up and yelled “I hate white people” before punching White in the face, the paper reported. After the assault, Crowchief left the scene, but White followed her and called police.

When authorities arrived and arrested Crowchief, she told them “the white man was out to get her,” the paper reported.

At a recent court hearing, White said she's still baffled by the assault.

“I still get angry when I think about it,” she said. “I don’t understand why this woman did this. I never did anything to her. Never even spoke to her.”

By the time of her sentencing, Crowchief had already spent more than six months in jail, according to the Calgary Herald.

Van Harten agreed with Crowchief's defense attorney, Adriano Iovinelli, that she'd been behind bars long enough.

The judge gave Crowchief 12 months probation "and ordered her to get psychological and psychiatric counselling, as well as counselling for substance abuse," the Herald reported.

Crowchief was also banned from drinking or going to a business that specializes in the sale of alcohol, the paper said.

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Amanda Chase #sexist washingtonpost.com

Chase, a conservative who has been a vocal critic of efforts to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment this year, said she has felt more confident since she began openly carrying her gun. After her long day in the legislature is over, she feels better about heading out alone to a dark parking lot near the Capitol. “It empowers women,” she said. “I jokingly call it my ERA"

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Eric Teetsel #fundie washingtonpost.com

But the new governor [Laura Kelly] will face a Republican-controlled legislature, with staunch conservatives who have vowed — in a resolution written by Brownback’s son-in-law Eric Teetsel — to “oppose all efforts to validate a transgender identity” and added language in the party platform that states “God created two genders, male and female.”

“This is the major question of our time, and if we don’t understand the nature of human sexual identity then we’re truly lost as a society,” said Teetsel, the outgoing president of the conservative Family Policy Alliance of Kansas. “Allowing lies about the nature of human sexuality to spread is not loving our neighbor.”

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Eric Teetsel #fundie washingtonpost.com

The Dec. 17 move by the Prairie Village City Council was one of three municipal efforts in the Kansas City suburb of Johnson County to pass ordinances protecting gay people and transgender people — moves that have been opposed by the religious right. which cites fears the rules will be used to attack Christians who believe homosexuality is wrong.

“These are completely unnecessary laws that will only be used to discriminate against people of faith,” Teetsel said. “It’s time for people to wake up and realize the foundation of civil liberties is being eroded before their very eyes.”

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National Police Association #racist washingtonpost.com

In Boston, Rachael Rollins also made history in November’s election, becoming the first black woman to be district attorney in that city’s history. And she, too, is now meeting with some resistance. A group called the National Police Association (NPA) has filed an ethics complaint against Rollins — before she has even taken office. As Carissa Byrne Hessick, director of the Prosecutors and Politics Project at the University of North Carolina School of Law explained on Twitter, the complaint is utter nonsense. It’s based not on any actual ethical violations, but on Rollins' campaign promise to not prosecute 15 low-level nonviolent offenses, ranging from public trespassing to drug possession.?

As Hessick points out, the complaint seems to be a PR move for the NPA. Judging by its website, the NPA appears to be just a few months old and has, thus far, has also called for investigations of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel (for consulting with the ACLU); called for another investigation of the auditor of the San Jose police department (for, among other things, listening to protesters at an anti-police rally); and called for a boycott of Nike for signing former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as an endorser.

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Federal Comission on School Safety #racist washingtonpost.com

WE DIDN’T have high expectations for the school safety commission established by President Trump following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. When asked if guns would be a subject, the study leader, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, replied, “That is not part of the commission’s charge, per se.” But even low expectations proved optimistic when the commission revealed its brightest idea: scrapping a federal policy that protects minority students from unfair discipline...

Most school shootings are committed by white males. That didn’t stop the commission, which includes three other Cabinet members, from recommending a rollback of guidance issued in 2014 to curb racial disparities in discipline. Black students, starting from preschool, are more often disciplined in school and receive harsher punishments than white students for comparable offenses. The 2014 guidance — which on Friday was formally rescinded by Ms. DeVos and acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker — properly prodded schools to examine disproportionate discipline rates for black students and reminded schools they can be held accountable for violations of federal civil rights laws.

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Damon Joseph #fundie washingtonpost.com

An Ohio man was arrested on charges that he attempted to support the Islamic State by planning an attack on a synagogue in Toledo after the Pittsburgh massacre, federal officials announced Monday.
Damon M. Joseph, 21, of Holland, Ohio, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State.
The case began after Joseph posted photographs of weapons and messages in support of the Islamic State on his social media accounts, according to a news release about Joseph’s arrest from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Ohio’s Northern District.
Undercover FBI agents began corresponding with Joseph. In some of these discussions, Joseph said he supported the Islamic State and made propaganda “in support of ISIS recruitment,” which included videos to recruit people, according to the release. And he expressed his support for violence, officials said.
He said that he supported “martyrdom operations,” that “what must be done, must be done” and that “there will always be casualties of war.”
After a gunman killed 11 congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Joseph told an undercover agent that he “admire[d] what the guy did with the shooting,” federal officials said.
“I can see myself carrying out this type of operation inshallah,” Joseph said, according to officials. “They wouldn’t even expect in my area.”
On Dec. 2, Joseph forwarded a document that specified his plans for an attack. He described attacking where a large number of people were gathered to inflict the most casualties, officials said.
Two days later, he said he was deciding between two synagogues in the area, saying the choice depended on “which one will have the most people, what time and what day. Go big or go home.”
He told an undercover agent he wanted to a kill a rabbi, saying that he hoped to attack two synagogues but that it was more realistic to attack only one, officials said. On Dec. 7, Joseph met with the undercover agent and took from the agent a black duffel bag containing two semiautomatic rifles that had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement officers, the release said. Agents then arrested him.
“In a matter of months, Damon Joseph progressed from radicalized, virtual jihadist to attack planner,” acting special agent in charge Jeff Fortunato of the FBI’s Cleveland division said in the release. “He ultimately decided to target two Toledo-area synagogues for a mass-casualty attack in the name of ISIS. Joseph will now be accountable in a court of law for his pursuit of a violent act of terrorism upon our fellow citizens attending their desired house of worship.”

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Matthew G. Whitaker #fundie washingtonpost.com

In a 2014 debate when he was running for the U.S. Senate, acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker said judges should have a Christian worldview, and that a judge with a “secular worldview” would be problematic, according to reports from that time.

Whitaker was answering a question. Erickson had asked the candidates “what criteria” they would use to block President Obama’s judicial nominees. One candidate, Sam Clovis, said he would vote for judges who could link “natural law” to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, Basu wrote.

Mark Jacobs said he would look for someone who would "not legislate from the bench." Joni Ernst echoed that view, adding the judge would need to understand that America's laws "all came from God."

But Whitaker went the farthest: "Natural law often times is used from the eye of the beholder and what I would like to see — I'd like to see things like their world view, what informs them. Are they people of faith? Do they have a biblical view of justice? — which I think is very important because we all know that our government ..."

"Levitical or New Testament?" interrupted Erickson.

“I’m a New Testament,” continued Whitaker. “And what I know is as long as they have that world view, that they’ll be a good judge. And if they have a secular world view, where this is all we have here on Earth, then I’m going to be very concerned about that judge.”

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John Allen Chau #fundie washingtonpost.com

John Allen Chau, 26, of Vancouver, Wash., an Instagram adventurer who also led missionary trips abroad, traveled to the Andaman Islands — an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal — this month to make contact with members of the tiny Sentinelese tribe, police said. The tribe, which has remained isolated for centuries, rejects contact with the wider world and reacts with hostility and violence to attempts at interaction by outsiders. The island is off-limits to visitors under Indian law.

Chau’s riveting journal of his last days, shared with The Washington Post by his mother, shows a treacherous journey by dark in a small fishing boat to the area where the small tribe lived in huts. The men — about 5 feet 5 inches tall with yellow paste on their faces, Chau wrote — reacted angrily as he tried to attempt to speak their language and sing “worship songs” to them, he wrote.

“I hollered, ‘My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,’ ” he wrote in his journal. One of the juveniles shot at him with an arrow, which pierced his waterproof Bible, he wrote.

?“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people,” he wrote in a last note to his family on Nov. 16, shortly before he left the safety of the fishing boat to meet the tribesmen on the island. “God, I don’t want to die,” he wrote.

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Marco Rubio #conspiracy washingtonpost.com

However, his fundraising emails tell a different story. In one fundraising email blast on Saturday, he declared, “Martha McSally is in a knockout Senate battle with Kyrsten Sinema, and 350,000 votes still need to be counted. Democrats will do whatever it takes to change the results of this election and claim their ‘blue wave’. . . . The Democrats have an army of attorneys prepared to do whatever it takes to overturn Martha’s victory and send Sinema to do their dirty work in the Senate.” (Emphasis in the original.)?

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Shohrat Zakir #fundie washingtonpost.com

China says interning Muslims brings them into ‘modern’ world

BEIJING — China on Tuesday characterized its mass internment of Muslims as a push to bring into the “modern, civilized” world a destitute people who are easily led astray — a depiction that analysts said bore troubling colonial overtones.

The report is the ruling Communist Party’s latest effort to defend its extrajudicial detention of Central Asian Muslim minorities against mounting criticism.

The report by the official Xinhua News Agency indicated that key to the party’s vision in Xinjiang is the assimilation of the indigenous Central Asian ethnic minorities into Han Chinese society — and in turn, a “modern” lifestyle.

Xinjiang Gov. Shohrat Zakir said the authorities were providing people with lessons on Mandarin, Chinese history and laws. Such training would steer them away from extremism and onto the path toward a “modern life” in which they would feel “confident about the future,” he said.

“It’s become a general trend for them to expect and pursue a modern, civilized life,” Zakir said, referring to the trainees. He said the measures are part of a broader policy to build a “foundation for completely solving the deeply-rooted problems” in the region.

In the Xinhua report, Zakir said authorities provide free vocational training in skills geared toward manufacturing, food and service industries. Zakir said “trainees” are paid a basic income during the training, in which free food and accommodations are provided.

The report appeared aimed at disputing accounts provided by former detainees, who have said they were held in political indoctrination camps where they were forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the party.

Ethnic Uighurs and Kazakhs have told The Associated Press that ostensibly innocuous acts such as praying regularly, viewing a foreign website or taking phone calls from relatives abroad could land one in a camp.

Zakir said the training centers were for people “who are influenced by terrorism and extremism, and those suspected of minor criminal offenses” who could be exempted from criminal punishment.

Zakir did not say whether such individuals were ever formally charged with any crime or provided a chance to defend themselves against the allegations. The report also did not say if attendance was mandatory, though former detainees have said they were forcibly held in centers policed by armed guards.

Zakir did not say how many people were in such courses, but said some would be able to complete their courses this year.

Zakir seemed to try to counter reports of poor living conditions within the camps, saying that “trainees” were immersed in athletic and cultural activities. The centers’ cafeterias provide “nutritious, free diets,” and dormitories are fully equipped with TVs, air conditioning and showers, he said.

Omir Bekali, a Xinjiang-born Kazakh citizen, said he was kept in a cell with 40 people inside a heavily guarded facility.

Bekali said he was kept in a locked room with eight other internees. They shared beds and a wretched toilet. Baths were rare.

Before meals, they were told to chant “Thank the party! Thank the motherland!” During daily mandatory classes, they were told that their people were backward before being “liberated” by the party in the 1950s.

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US State Department #racist washingtonpost.com

PHARR, Tex. — On paper, he’s a devoted U.S. citizen.

His official American birth certificate shows he was delivered by a midwife in Brownsville, at the southern tip of Texas. He spent his life wearing American uniforms: three years as a private in the Army, then as a cadet in the Border Patrol and now as a state prison guard. But when Juan, 40, applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen.

As he would later learn, Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question. The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown on their citizenship.

In a statement, the State Department said that it “has not changed policy or practice regarding the adjudication of passport applications,” adding that “the U.S.-Mexico border region happens to be an area of the country where there has been a significant incidence of citizenship fraud.”

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Yep #racist washingtonpost.com

Seems to me, Asian culture takes what exist and refines; making products much more efficient, etc. But also seems to me, they are not inventors, so I'm glad Harvard and others create space for creators too!

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Sharron Dobbins #fundie washingtonpost.com

“Nobody writes a book on the correct way of parenting,” Sharron Dobbins explained to ABC 15 Arizona this week, shortly after her release from jail on a felony child abuse charge.

It’s true — there is no instruction manual for raising two teenage sons. But as Dobbins, 40, told a reporter on her Phoenix front lawn, she had certain parental tips and tricks.

She had the Bible, for example, and the verse she recited often to her sons: “Honor thy mother and father, or their days will be shortened.”

And on a particularly frustrating Easter Sunday morning, as she tried to get the 17-year-old ready for church, she had her Taser handy, too.

“I said, ‘Get up! It’s Jesus day!’ ” Dobbins recalled to ABC 15.

Easter services at Greater New Zion Missionary Baptist Church had started at sunrise that day. But nearly two hours later, the teenager insisted on staying home with his friends, Dobbins said.

“He said some cuss words at me,” she told Fox 10 Phoenix. “He said that his friends don’t have to go anywhere.”

The boy was no stranger to trouble, Dobbins would later tell a court; he wore an ankle bracelet and was under her legal custody.

So by way of convincing him that he needed to be in church, Dobbins said, she fetched her Taser and stood with it in her son’s bedroom.

This is where the mother’s story begins to depart from a police report obtained by 3TV/CBS 5. Dobbins said she merely sparked the device while standing in the bedroom doorway, as a warning.

“I didn’t touch him at all,” she told Fox 10. “I made the sound with the Taser.”

But according to the police report, which cites both of Dobbins’s sons and their cousin as witnesses, the mother zapped the 17-year-old on his leg, leaving two small marks as evidence.

“He was like, ‘Mom! I’m calling the police,’ ” Dobbins told ABC 15. “I say, ‘You can call the police, UPS, DPS. Whoever you want to call.”

The boy made good on his threat. While waiting for police to arrive, Dobbins said, she lectured the 911 dispatcher on the meaning of Easter.

“I told her, ‘You need to be with Jesus right now.‘ ”

Instead, Dobbins ended up on her lawn with an officer, who after speaking to the boys informed her she would be charged with child abuse.

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Gloria Copeland #fundie washingtonpost.com

A televangelist’s flu-season advice: ‘Inoculate yourself with the word of God’


At least 53 children across the country have died during a nasty flu outbreak that is already one of the worst on record, even though the season typically peaks in February.

But Texas televangelist Gloria Copeland thinks there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, the minister who advised President Trump’s campaign says she doesn’t believe there’s such thing as a flu season.

“We got a duck season, a deer season, but we don’t have a flu season,” she said in a video posted to Facebook last week. “And don’t receive it when somebody threatens you with, ‘Everyone’s getting the flu!’ ”

Her remarks come as physicians insist people get their flu shots, as 80 percent of the children who died did not have a flu shot. The flu vaccine does not guarantee against illness, but experts say that data suggests that vaccinations make the flu milder.

It’s not the first time Copeland — who told her viewers in the video that “Jesus himself gave us the flu shot” and “redeemed us from the curse of flu” — has insisted that people put their health in God’s hands. She once bragged during a conference that she and her husband did not need prescription drugs because the Lord heals all illnesses, according to the Associated Press.

In 2015, Copeland was featured in a segment of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” that accused televangelists of manipulating and defrauding their followers. Oliver played a clip of her preaching to her viewers, talking about cancer.

“We know what’s wrong with you. You’ve got cancer. The bad news is we don’t know what to do about it — except give you some poison that will make you sicker,” Copeland said in the clip. “Now, which do you want to do? Do you want to do that, or do you want to sit in here on a Saturday morning, hear the word of God, and let faith come into your heart and be healed?”

[Paramedics said her 6-year-old had common flu symptoms and left, she claims. Now her daughter is dead.]

In 2013, her husband, Kenneth Copeland, also a televangelist, was criticized when the family’s North Texas megachurch found itself at the center of a measles outbreak. Many of the congregants had not been vaccinated, and 21 people fell ill with the contagious disease, the AP reported.

“To get a vaccine would have been viewed by me and my friends and my peers as an act of fear — that you doubted God would keep you safe. … We simply didn’t do it,” former church member Amy Arden told the AP at the time.

Copeland last week told her viewers to protect themselves with the “word of God.”

“If you say, ‘Well, I don’t have any symptoms of the flu,’ well, great! That’s the way it’s supposed to be,” she said. “Just keeping saying that. ‘I’ll never have the flu. I’ll never have the flu.’ Put words. Inoculate yourself with the word of God.”

The family’s organization, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, could not be immediately reached for comment.

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Donald Trump #racist washingtonpost.com

Native American groups have long objected to President Trump’s use of the nickname “Pocahontas” to deride one of his political foes, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).?

But even at a White House event specifically intended to honor the World War II Navajo code talkers — the heroic Native Americans who helped the U.S. Marines send coded messages in the Pacific Theater — Trump couldn’t resist.

?“I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people,” Trump said Monday afternoon, speaking to a small group of code talkers. “You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her ‘Pocahontas.’ ”

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Chris Wallace #fundie washingtonpost.com

But there is another side to this debate, as there usually is. There’s an old saying: “Even hypochondriacs sometimes get sick.” And even if Trump is trying to undermine the press for his own calculated reasons, when he talks about bias in the media — unfairness — I think he has a point.?

On Nov. 10, 2016 — two days after the election, here was the lead paragraph of a front-page article in the New York Times: “The American political establishment reeled on Wednesday as leaders in both parties began coming to grips with four years of President Donald J. Trump in the White House, a once-unimaginable scenario that has now plunged the United States and its allies and adversaries into a period of deep uncertainty about the policies and impact of his Administration.” “Reeled .?.?. coming to grips .?.?. unimaginable .?.?. plunged.” Could they have come up with any more buzzwords?

?On Feb. 16, this was the lead on the CBS Evening News: “It has been a busy day for presidential statements divorced from reality.” A week later, this was the lead: “The president’s troubles today were not with the media — but with the facts.”?

On Aug. 2, this was the report from CNN’s White House correspondent: “This White House has an unhealthy fixation on what I call the three M’s: the Mexicans, the Muslims, and the media. Their policies tend to be crafted around bashing one of these three groups.”?Now, I’m sure some of you hear those comments and think they’re “spot on.” But ask yourself — honestly — do they belong on the front page of the paper? Or the lead of the evening news?

?I believe some of my colleagues — many of my colleagues — think this president has gone so far over the line bashing the media, it has given them an excuse to cross the line themselves, to push back. As tempting as that may be, I think it’s a big mistake.?We are not players in the game. We are umpires, or observers, trying to be objective witnesses to what is going on. That doesn’t mean we’re stenographers. If the president — or anyone we’re covering — says something untrue or does something questionable, we can and should report it.?But we shouldn’t be drawn into becoming players on the field, trying to match the people we cover in invective. It’s not our role. We’re not as good at it as they are. And we’re giving up our special place in our democracy. There’s enough to report about this president that we don’t need to offer opinions or put our thumb on the scale.

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Roy Moore #fundie washingtonpost.com

The chorus of national Republican leaders speaking out against Alabama GOP nominee Roy Moore after allegations of sexual misconduct grew louder Tuesday, with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan joining the effort to oust him from the Senate race and Attorney General Jeff Sessions voicing confidence in Moore’s accusers.

[...]

Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. Nelson made her allegations against Moore after the Post article was published.

On Tuesday night, a defiant Moore spoke in Jackson, a small city in rural south Alabama, before a supportive church audience. The attacks he’d faced — “28 days before an election,” he added — came from a political establishment that was out to get him.

“Obviously I’ve made a few people mad,” said Moore. “I’m the only one who can unite Democrats and Republicans, because I’m opposed by both. They’ve done everything they could, and now they are together to try to keep me from going to Washington.”

Moore, who told his audience that he did not prepare a speech, veered from outrage at the coverage of his personal life to allegories and Bible quotes. He described a country in spiritual decline, said that the government “started creating new rights in 1965,” and accused both the media and his accusers of “harassing” him.

At one point, Moore suggested that he might lose the election. “I want to take the truth of God to Washington,” he said. “If it’s not God’s will, then I pray I don’t be put in that position, if that’s what he wants.”

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Dylann Roof #racist washingtonpost.com

A federal court rejected a request by Dylann Roof, the unabashed white supremacist who killed nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church two years ago, to dismiss his attorneys because they're Jewish and Indian.

Roof, who was sent to death row for the June 2015 massacre at a historically black church in Charleston, requested that the two public defenders appointed to handle his appeal be removed from his case, saying their ethnicities are "a barrier to effective communication."

"Because of my political views, which are arguably religious, it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies," the 23-year-old said in a handwritten, three-page motion filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. The court denied the request in a one-sentence ruling Tuesday.

His attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, did not respond to requests for comment.

Rishi Bagga, president of the South Asian Bar Association of North America, said that requesting an attorney's removal should be based on legal abilities. He said Roof's comments highlight a challenge among public defenders, who often have to represent clients who don't reflect their own views.

"It's really part of a lawyer's oath to represent someone to the best of their ability regardless of their own beliefs, religion or background or origin," Bagga said.

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Virginia Republican Party #racist washingtonpost.com

In a two-part tweet on its official account posted shortly after noon, the state party took aim at Northam, the Democratic nominee for governor, whose great-great-grandfather owned eight slaves in 1860 and nine slaves in 1850 on Virginia’s rural Eastern Shore.

“.@RalphNortham has turned his back on his own family’s heritage in demanding monument removal (1/2),” it read. “Shows @RalphNortham will do anything or say anything to try and be #VAGov - #Pathetic 2/2.”?The blowback was instant.

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Paul Congemi #racist washingtonpost.com

“Mr. Nevel, you and your people talk about reparations,” he said, mentioning Jesse Nevel, a white campaign opponent who heads a group calling for reparations for African Americans. “The reparations that you talk about, Mr. Nevel, your people already got your reparations. Your reparations came in the form of a man named Barack Obama.”

He added: “My advice to you, if you don’t like it here in America, planes leave every hour from Tampa airport. Go back to Africa. Go back to Africa. Go back!”

But Congemi, who is also white, told The Washington Post that Nevel and the group that backs him lack real solutions and are “unhappy about the whole system in America.”

Conversely, he said, he has “nothing against African Americans who are doing their best here in America.”

“I had never met Jesse Nevel until last night,” Congemi said on Wednesday. “It’s obvious he is a self-hating white man.”Congemi told The Post he was a lifelong Democrat who switched allegiances after then-President Barack Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage.

Now, he’s a Republican and a Trump supporter.

He said he believes homosexuality is immoral and criticized incumbent mayor Rick Kriseman, a Democrat, for taking part in St. Petersburg’s gay pride parade and flying the pride flag over city hall.

“I’m not politically correct,” Congemi said.

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James Moore #racist washingtonpost.com

A Ku Klux Klan chapter holding a rally in downtown Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon says it expects 80 to 100 members and supporters to take part in the protest and that most will have guns with them.?“It’s an open-carry state, so our members will be armed,” said James Moore, a member of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which is headquartered in Pelham, N.C., near the Virginia border. Moore said that if members are attacked, they will defend themselves.?The KKK is protesting the Charlottesville City Council’s decision this year to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public park and rename that park. Once called Lee Park, it is now Emancipation Park. A court injunction has halted the statue’s removal until a November hearing. On Thursday, a “Confederate Heroes” plaque attached to the statue was removed by city workers.?“The liberals are taking away our heritage,” Moore said. “By taking these monuments away, that’s what they’re working on. They’re trying to erase the white culture right out of the history books.”

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Scott Pruitt #fundie washingtonpost.com

The Trump administration is debating whether to launch a governmentwide effort to question the science of climate change, an effort that critics say is an attempt to undermine the long-established consensus human activity is fueling the Earth’s rising temperatures.?The move, driven by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, has sparked a debate among top Trump administration officials over whether to pursue such a strategy.?A senior White House official, who asked for anonymity because no final decision has been made, said that while Pruitt has expressed interest in the idea, “there are no formal plans within the administration to do anything about it at this time.”?Pruitt first publicly raised the idea of setting up a “red team-blue team” effort to conduct exercises to test the idea that human activity is the main driver of recent climate change in an interview with Breitbart in early June.?“What the American people deserve, I think, is a true, legitimate, peer-reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2,” Pruitt said in an interview with Breitbart’s Joel Pollack.?But officials are discussing whether the initiative would stretch across numerous federal agencies that rely on such science, according to multiple Trump administration officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement has been made.?Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who once described the science behind human-caused climate change as a “contrived phony mess,” also is involved in the effort, two officials said.?At a White House briefing this week, Perry said, “The people who say the science is settled, it’s done — if you don’t believe that you’re a skeptic, a Luddite. I don’t buy that. I don’t think there is — I mean, this is America. Have a conversation. Let’s come out of the shadows of hiding behind your political statements and let’s talk about it. What’s wrong with that? And I’m full well — I can be convinced, but let’s talk about it.”?The idea, according to one senior administration official, is “to get other federal agencies involved in this exercise on the state of climate science” to examine “what we know, where there are holes, and what we actually don’t know.”?Other agencies could include the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and NASA, according to the official, all of which conduct climate research in some capacity.

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Dean Davis #fundie washingtonpost.com

I think the problem with the democrats is there supporters are illiterate in understanding English next time instead of throwing massive amounts of money behind immigration they'll support English in are schools

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Gawd Bless Muricka #sexist washingtonpost.com

[On an article criticizing Republicans' reactions to Trump's "bleeding badly from a facelift" tweets]

Let's forget the fact that he is the President, which in my is irrelevant anyway. Why is it wrong for a man to return an insult to a woman? How the hell is that chivalry? While I have heard you don't hit a woman, since when do you not return an insult if she insults you? So what if the insult is sexist? Insults includes sexism, to include talking about yo' momma.

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Mr. Nash #fundie washingtonpost.com

[On an article criticizing Republicans' reactions to Trump's "bleeding badly from a facelift" tweets]

Great article showcasing how out-of-touch many progressives are when they never get out of their big city echo chamber enclaves! image

However I don't think this was what the author was going for.

I guess they'll lose again in 2020.

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Tampa Florida #fundie washingtonpost.com

You know when you country is becoming Great again, by the sights and sounds of liberal tantrums!
Proof enough for me that we elected the Perfect President. It wouldn't be near as exciting and encouraging without the sounds of crybaby liberals

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Chiefindcnw #fundie washingtonpost.com

Disgusting, pathetic bunch of self loathing ninny hammers! I wasted 10 years of my life fighting for civil rights for you idiots. You want be celibate for yourself and your own reasons that's one thing. But to do it to make a bunch of religious reactionaries feel better! Its shameful and pathetic. PATHETIC!

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The Last Emperor - Turkish TV #conspiracy washingtonpost.com

Of all the series’ villains, none are more sinister than the Jews. Two minutes into its very first scene, Abdulhamid is riding in a procession in Istanbul when a mustachioed onlooker flips a coin into the hand of one of the royal guards. The soldier opens his hand to find the coin is etched with a Star of David surrounding a squat cross in the style favored by Crusaders and Freemasons. The signal thus received, dozens of his fellow guards turn around and open fire on the royal carriage. The screen fades to black — and to the crescent moon that accompanies the mournful opening theme.

Later in the episode we learn that underneath the coin-flipper’s Ottoman fez is a black skullcap of a Catholic priest, for he is a Vatican emissary working for none other than Theodor Herzl, the Jewish Austrian journalist who founded modern Zionism. Herzl, his beguiling assistant Sarah and their various co-conspirators are forever haunting Istanbul, meeting with wayward members of the sultan’s family who are themselves intoxicated by deviant, imported ideas such as popular sovereignty. Herzl is the series’ arch-villain, so perfidious as to hold his penniless father imprisoned without his mother’s knowledge — all because the old man opposes Zionism.

As with much of “The Last Emperor,” most of it is fiction. Herzl’s father wasn’t poor but a wealthy businessman, and differed with his son not on the necessity of Jewish statehood but only on the methods for achieving it. Sarah, Herzl’s sidekick, doesn’t appear to be based on any real-life figure. At the First Zionist Congress, held on the show in Vienna (the actual one was in Switzerland), bearded delegates evoking the Elders of Zion applaud Herzl’s stump speech. “Soon all humankind will only live to serve us Jews, chosen by Jehovah,” Herzl intones, then paints the Zionist flag, a blue Star of David, for the assembled, braying crowd. Not satisfied, a red-dressed Sarah calls out from the audience, insisting that he flank the star with two horizontal blue stripes to mark the Jews’ supposed territorial ambitions: no less than the Nile to the Euphrates. To the delegates’ delight, Herzl complies.

That episode, which aired in March, provoked a surge in anti-Jewish invective on social media. One Twitter user vowed to turn the supposed Jewish homeland into a “Jewish graveyard.” Another, citing the same purportedly vast territorial objectives, declared, “The more I watch ‘The Last Emperor,’ the more my enmity to Jews increases — you infidels, you filthy creatures.” Both users identify in their bios as Erdogan supporters.

The real Herzl is known to have visited Istanbul only a handful of times and obtained an audience with the sultan only once. Though he failed in his chief objective — obtaining a sultanic charter for the already-nascent Zionist settlement enterprise in then-Ottoman-controlled Palestine – he was given a first-class induction into the Order of the Medjidie, a prestigious honor the Ottomans only ever granted to 50 people. Herzl hadn’t exactly made a Zionist out of the sultan, but the notion of a rivalry between the two leaders — one of a sprawling empire and the other of a minuscule Jewish-nationalist movement — is revisionist in the extreme. Herzl’s attempt to curry favor with the sultan was brief and unsuccessful, and he soon resumed his activism, journalism and fundraising in London and Vienna.

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Russian government #fundie washingtonpost.com

Last summer, Ruslan Sokolovsky entered the imposing Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg, a city about 1,000 miles east of Moscow. The Russian Orthodox church holds special meaning for some, because it was supposedly built on the site where the last czar of Russia, Nicholas II, was murdered along with his family.

But Sokolovsky wasn't there to worship or pay tribute to Russian history. Instead, the blogger wandered through the gilded rooms of the church, his eyes and fingers glued to his smartphone. He was playing “Pokémon Go,” the app that allows users to “catch 'em all” using augmented reality.

“But, you know, I didn't catch the rarest Pokémon that you could find there — Jesus,” Sokolovsky, an outspoken atheist, said at the end of a video he recorded that day. “They said it doesn't even exist, so I'm not really surprised.”

At the time, Pokémon Go was experiencing an unprecedented craze that would ultimately die down in a matter of weeks. However, the consequences for Sokolovsky would last long after he fired up the app on his phone last summer — and posted the video of his Pokémon Go-playing venture inside the church to YouTube.

After Russian officials discovered the footage, Sokolovsky was detained last fall and charged with inciting religious hatred. On Friday, the last day of the trial, prosecutors in Russia requested a sentence of 3½ years in prison for Sokolovsky.

Sokolovsky, now 22, protested that his potential punishment outweighed the crime.

“I may be an idiot, but I am by no means an extremist,” said Sokolovsky in a statement, according to the Russian news site Meduza. He compared his suggested prison sentence, for joking about the Orthodox Church, to those who had been imprisoned for decades under Joseph Stalin for joking about communism.

“For me, this is savagery and barbarism,” Sokolovsky's statement continued, according to Meduza. “I do not understand how this is at all possible. Nevertheless, as we have seen, it is quite possible indeed.”

He wasn't the only one who drew comparisons between the harsh suggested prison sentence and Stalin's Russia. While prosecutors and others have justified Sokolovsky's arrest under a new law that prevents the “violation of the right to freedom of conscience and belief,” others have blasted the potential punishment — and the law — as a restriction on free speech.

“Previously #Russia jailed people for mocking Communism/Stalin, now for mocking Orthodoxy,” Moscow Times reporter Matthew Kupfer tweeted.

The human rights group Amnesty International called Sokolovsky a “prisoner of conscience” and criticized the Russian government for detaining the blogger “solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression.”

The charge against Sokolovsky, inciting religious hatred, is the same offense under which two women from the punk-rock collective Pussy Riot were imprisoned for two years, according to the Associated Press. The group had staged a protest against Russian leader Vladimir Putin at an Orthodox cathedral in Moscow in 2012. Shortly afterward, two members were arrested on charges of hooliganism.

The following year, the Russian parliament passed a law based upon the Pussy Riot incident that criminalized activities that “insult the feelings of believers.” If charged, defendants face up to three years in jail, and at least six men stood trial last year under this charge, according to Amnesty International.

Sokolovsky's critics say it is under this law that Sokolovsky's arrest was justified.

“The problem is that did it on purpose, even though there were no Pokémon there,” a priest in the Yekaterinburg diocese told Global News last fall. “But it did not matter. It was a reason to insult.”

A judge will issue a final verdict in Sokolovsky's case May 11, according to the Associated Press.

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Kori & Danielle Hayes #conspiracy washingtonpost.com

“I don’t have any doubt that Pizzagate is real,” said Kori Hayes, a corrections officer who drove with his wife and three kids to Washington from Middleburg, Fla., on Friday night for the event. “But nothing is being said about it.”

Hayes called InfoWars “the only place you can get the news nowadays where it’s not opinion,” but said he wasn’t bothered by Jones’s about-face on Pizzagate.?“This paper in my hand is at least enough for an investigation,” the 25-year-old said, holding a flier labeled “Pizzagate/Pedogate” that listed “pedophile code words and symbols” supposedly found at Comet Ping Pong.?Hayes wore a shirt saying “Pizzagate is Not Fake News.” His wife, Danielle, 31, wore one reading “Investigate Pizzagate.”?Their three children, ages 9, 5 and 2, each wore shirts saying “I Am Not Pizza #pizzagate.”?“We’ve been watching since the [John] Podesta emails came out on Wikileaks,” Danielle said. “And we just followed it down the rabbit hole.”

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Ahmed Daqamseh #racist washingtonpost.com

In his first statement after leaving prison [for murdering a 13 year old Israeli girl in 1997], Daqamseh said, “I entered prison a soldier of the armed forces and today I consider myself a member of the armed forces.”

?“Don’t believe the lie of normalization with the Zionist entity. Don’t believe the lie of the two-state solution; Palestine united is from the ocean to the river … there is no state called ‘Israel,’” he later said in an interview with Al Jazeera

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Markeith Loyd #conspiracy washingtonpost.com

This week, Loyd — who has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder — appeared in an Orlando courtroom and refused to enter a guilty or innocent plea when asked to do so by Chief Judge Frederick J. Lauten of the 9th Judicial Circuit.

A heated exchange ensued, with Loyd interrupting Lauten and telling the judge that the government lacks jurisdiction to bring charges against him.

“For the record, I want to state that I am Markeith Loyd,” Loyd told the judge. “Flesh and blood. I’m a human being. I’m not a fictitious person. I’m not a corporation.”

“And therefore, I am going to tell you the fact, I am in due court, I accept the charges’ value,” he added. “And I want to use my UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) financial statement, my number, to write these charges off.”

...Paudert said many sovereigns believe the U.S. government sells its citizens’ future earnings to foreign investors when they are born. Adherents often believe the funds are secretly kept by the U.S. Treasury in a secret trust that is only accessible to those who opt out of their “corporate” status, which splits them off from their flesh-and-blood self in the eyes of the government and keeps them subject to U.S. and international law, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The amount of money sovereigns believe they’re owed is based on their lifetime earning potential and can range from a few hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions, depending on the particular strain of sovereign precepts they follow, Paudert said.

“They believe that if you renounce your citizenship, then you can get into that account and draw out all the money that the government owes you,” he added. “It can all sound very unusual to people who are not familiar with their ideas.”