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Tue, 06 Dec 2016
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Bad Guys

Teenager talked about grandfather's hatchet murder on Kik

© Nancy McCleary
On a Sunday in early August, 15-year-old Raistlin Martin discussed killing his grandfather with a still unidentified person on a secretive cellphone app called Kik.

The next night, the boy sent the same person - who used the identity Sporkus_the_wise - pictures that included a hatchet and a pair of black gloves.

About 20 minutes after the last message was sent, Cumberland County dispatchers received a 911 call about a homicide on Elgin Drive, according to an affidavit for a search warrant.

Eye 1

Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners respond to statement from Department of the Army: "Committed to finish and not reroute Dakota Access Pipeline"

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) and Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXL) announced that the Administration's statement today that it would not at this time issue an "easement" to Dakota Access Pipeline is a purely political action - which the Administration concedes when it states it has made a "policy decision" - Washington code for a political decision. This is nothing new from this Administration, since over the last four months the Administration has demonstrated by its action and inaction that it intended to delay a decision in this matter until President Obama is out of office.

For more than three years now, Dakota Access Pipeline has done nothing but play by the rules. The Army Corps of Engineers agrees, and has said so publicly and in federal court filings. The Corps' review process and its decisions have been ratified by two federal courts. The Army Corps confirmed this again today when it stated its "policy decision" does "not alter the Army's position that the Corps' prior reviews and actions have comported with legal requirements."

In spite of consistently stating at every turn that the permit for the crossing of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe granted in July 2016, comported with all legal requirements, including the use of an environmental assessment, rather than an environmental impact statement, the Army Corps now seeks to engage in additional review and analysis of alternative locations for the pipeline.

The White House's directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.

Comment: See also: DAPL protesters proclaim victory as pipeline forced to change route - statement


Books

Sanctuary campuses: Students call for administration to ignore federal law and create safe spaces for illegal immigrants

© campus reform
Students across the country are asking for their schools to be "sanctuary campuses" for undocumented students, meaning university administrators would ignore federal immigration law and refuse to share information about undocumented students with immigration officials.

Several schools have already declared themselves sanctuary campuses, including Portland State University, Reed College, and Columbia University.

"It's really important for students to feel safe while they're going to school."

To find out more about what motivates students to support the sanctuary campus movement, Campus Reform visited George Washington University, where many students participated in a pro-sanctuary walk-out several weeks ago.

The students interviewed were overwhelmingly in favor of GW becoming a sanctuary campus, calling it a "great thing," and claiming that undocumented students "have a right to be going to this school" because "it's really important for students to feel safe while they're going to school."

Since the GW students were asking their administration to ignore federal law, Campus Reform asked if they wanted the campus to be a "sanctuary" from other laws, as well.

Sheriff

Cops beating cops: Officers assault one of their own who 'fit the description'

© Jeff Bachner
Ronald Lanier sobs on the shoulder of a friend before the march and rally to protest his alleged beating by Garden City police officers at the Western Beef Supermarket in Mineola, on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.
Nothing exposes the brutality of police quite like cops beating up one of their own. If police mistake you for a criminal, there is nothing you can do to stop their assault and a retired cop just learned that the hard way.

Ronald Lanier, retired Nassau County corrections officer, is now planning to sue the Garden City Police Department after he says they mistook him for a criminal, handcuffed, and then beat him.

"I've never been cursed, physically abused, beaten and treated like a slave as I was two days ago," Lanier said through tears as explained how he ended up battered and in the hospital. "For somebody to grab me by the neck in the supermarket, and I'm telling you, 'I'm one of you,' and you disrespect it — it was like you're just another black dude."

"They cursed at him, they abused him verbally, they then start to beat him," his attorney, Fred Brewington, told 1010 WINS. "He was taking blows with his hands cuffed behind him as he laid facedown."

According to Lanier, when he tried to explain to the officers who were beating him that he was also a cop, they laughed in his face.

The cops who beat Lanier claimed he fit the description of a suspect in the area. So, using 'he fit the description' as their only means of justification, multiple officers attacked this innocent man.

Heart

Standing Rock Sioux donate supplies to law enforcement - offer amazing lesson in compassion

In an amazing display of humanity and compasson, water protectors from the Oceti Sakowin camp, on Friday, donated various supplies to the Morton County Sheriff's Department in Mandan after the department posted a request for donations late last month.

In spite of widespread brutality and violent actions directed at non-violent unarmed water protectors by law enforcement, the Oceti Sakowin headsman, joined by Leonard Crow Dog and a number of youth and women leaders, delivered the requested donations to their oppressors.

The interesting turn of events came after a public notice was released by the Morton County Sheriff's Officeon November 22, which requested donations of supplies from the public.

The Oceti Sakowin took this opportunity to teach law enforcement about compassion, love, and humanity.

Bullseye

Open season: Anti-drone 'rifle' takes down quadcopters without firing a single bullet

© Drone Shield / YouTube
If rebellious robots ever rise up to pummel mankind into submission, humans may need to arm themselves with weapons like the DroneGun, which can take out a flying machine and even override its controls.

Designed by DroneShield, a company based in the US and Australia, the gun is marketed as a "highly effective" tool in the arsenal of anti-drone technology.

Fire

11 dead & dozens injured, including foreigners in Karachi hotel fire

© Newsonepk / YouTube
Regent Plaza hotel in Karachi
A massive fire at a hotel in Karachi, Pakistan, has killed at least 11 people, according to officials cited by AP. More than 50 others, including foreigners, have reportedly been injured.

The fire began in the hotel kitchen in the early hours of Monday, according to police officer Tauqeer Naeem. The exact cause of the fire is not yet known.

Some of the deaths were caused by suffocation, according to Dr. Semi Jamali of Jinnah's Hospital in Karachi.


At least 65 people were brought to the emergency department, Jamali told local outlet Dawn. Among the patients were people who had fractured bones after jumping from windows, those who had been hurt by shattered glass and many who had suffered from smoke inhalation.

Quenelle - Golden

DAPL protesters proclaim victory as pipeline forced to change route - statement

© Lucas Jackson
Native American and visiting "water protectors" celebrate that the Army Corps of Engineers has denied an easement for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline inside of the Oceti Sakowin camp, North Dakota, U.S., December 4, 2016
The US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, the hotspot of massive protests of water protectors, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said in a statement, adding that alternative routes are now being studied.

"The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota," said a statement on the US Army website, citing the Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy.

Comment: It's not going to be that easy: Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners respond to statement from Department of the Army: "Committed to finish and not reroute Dakota Access Pipeline"


Footprints

Parade of Indonesian Culture: Tens of thousands march in Jakarta to support first Christian governor

© Darren Whiteside / Reuters
People attend a rally calling for national unity and tolerance in central Jakarta, Indonesia December 4, 2016.
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, to show national unity and call for tolerance after a 200,000-strong Muslim rally demanded the arrest of the city's first Christian governor for alleged blasphemy.

Crowds holding up 'We are Indonesia' signs and waving red-and-white national flags flooded the streets of Jakarta on Sunday, filling a major traffic circle downtown, AP reported.

The rally reportedly was organized in response to two massive protests staged in the past month by hardline Muslim conservatives against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, nicknamed 'Ahok' - the first ethnic Chinese governor of Jakarta and the first Christian to hold the post in 50 years.

Stock Down

How stable are western democracies? Not very, according to researchers

Yascha Mounk is used to being the most pessimistic person in the room. Mr. Mounk, a lecturer in government at Harvard, has spent the past few years challenging one of the bedrock assumptions of Western politics: that once a country becomes a liberal democracy, it will stay that way.

His research suggests something quite different: that liberal democracies around the world may be at serious risk of decline.

Mr. Mounk's interest in the topic began rather unusually. In 2014, he published a book, "Stranger in My Own Country." It started as a memoir of his experiences growing up as a Jew in Germany, but became a broader investigation of how contemporary European nations were struggling to construct new, multicultural national identities.

He concluded that the effort was not going very well. A populist backlash was rising. But was that just a new kind of politics, or a symptom of something deeper?

To answer that question, Mr. Mounk teamed up with Roberto Stefan Foa, a political scientist at the University of Melbourne in Australia. They have since gathered and crunched data on the strength of liberal democracies.

Their conclusion, to be published in the January issue of the Journal of Democracy, is that democracies are not as secure as people may think. Right now, Mr. Mounk said in an interview, "the warning signs are flashing red."

Comment: "Democracy" is not some magical system that spreads peace, love, and butterflies wherever nostrils catch a whiff of its perfumed scent. It is just as corruptible as any other system, barring knowledge of ponerology. The funny thing is that these researchers still think they live in viable democracies. They don't. Of course, things can get worse (much worse), but let's not kid ourselves. Modern democracies are already oligarchies.