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Thu, 25 Apr 2019
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Zizek-Peterson debate sets off meme war: 'Crustacean Jung v Cocaine Hegel'

jorden peterson Slavoj Zizek
© Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images; Jeff Vespa/WireImage
Dr. Jordan Peterson and Slavoj Zizek
In the wake of Saturday's debate between intellectual superstars Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson, an onslaught of mockery has appeared online satirizing the clash between the highly-memeable thinkers.

Ticket prices reportedly went as high as $1,500, not for a game in the NBA playoffs, but to see these two prominent public intellectuals duke it out over human nature and economic systems. The 'Marxist' Zizek had it out with the 'traditionalist' Peterson who defended the free market in a debate on whether capitalism or Marxism better leads to happiness.

While for some this might not sound like it would generate much interest beyond a philosophy department, around 3,000 people packed into the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto to see the ultimate ideological showdown.

Comment: Others had a more measured take on the event.



New Mexico: Militia group draws scrutiny in detaining migrants at the border

© Reuters/Rick Wilking
A right-wing militia group has begun stopping migrant families at gunpoint in southern New Mexico and detaining them before U.S. Border Patrol agents arrive, The New York Times reported Friday.

The group, which calls itself United Constitutional Patriots, has recently filmed their detention of migrants and uploaded the footage on social media, prompting pushback from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU denounced the actions, saying the militia is operating without state or federal authority to arrest or detain migrants.

The militia group rounded up nearly 200 migrants who had recently crossed the border near Sunland Park, N.M. The group was reportedly exhausted from their journey to the U.S. and was attempting to seek asylum, the Times reported.

Comment: CNN has more on the border detainment:
Authorities say they're looking into videos posted on the United Constitutional Patriots New Mexico Border Ops Facebook page.

The videos purport to show members of the group detaining migrants, including families with children, who've just crossed the border. They show people often in full military fatigues, with handguns strapped to their sides, wearing gloves and black face masks. Armed men order migrants to stop, force them to sit on the ground and then apparently call Border Patrol to pick them up. At least two videos posted on the group's Facebook page depict a man in fatigues verbally identifying himself as "Border Patrol" as he stops a group of migrants.

A statement on the United Constitutional Patriots' Facebook page describes the group as "Americans that believe in the Constitution and the rights of every American that will stand up for there rights in unity and help keep America safe.

"These people are armed, their intentions are misguided and they certainly don't have training, much less any authority, to be conducting arrests and long-term detentions of people coming across the border," Simonson, executive director for the ACLU of NM, said. "We are concerned this is such a potentially explosive situation, we are worried someone is going to get hurt."


French cathedral's rector says Notre Dame destruction might have been made worse by computer glitch

notre dame spire
© Agence France-Presse/Geoffroy van der Hasselt
The pire collapses
The fire that destroyed the roof of Notre Dame in Paris may have been made worse by a computer glitch, the cathedral's rector said. Officials are also warning about scams as grifters seek to exploit fundraisers for its renovation.

The fire that destroyed the roof of Notre Dame in Paris may have been made worse by a computer glitch, the cathedral's rector said. Officials are also warning about scams as grifters seek to exploit fundraisers for its renovation.

Fire broke out at Notre Dame on Monday, and rapidly spread along the wooden roof frame, severely damaging the Gothic jewel. It is possible the fire was able to spread so quickly because of a "computer glitch" with the alarm system, rector Patrick Chauvet said on Friday.

Comment: Sputnik reports the starting point of the fire has been located:
The origin of the Notre Dame fire was revealed to be the cathedral's roof, according to CNN, citing a police source.

Following a probe involving amateur videos and photos from locals, investigators have drawn the conclusion that the Notre Dame might have caught fire on the roof, towards the base of the iconic spire.

The investigators are also looking into two potential issues related to the conflagration, including a potential alarm system sensor deficiency and the elevators built for the construction workers.
notre dame fire roof
© AP / Thierry Mallet
Flames and smoke rise from the blaze after the spire toppled over on Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019
A massive blaze broke out at the Notre Dame cathedral on Monday evening, resulting in the collapse of the building's spire and two-thirds of its roof. Firefighters, however, managed to extinguish the blaze by Tuesday morning, saving the historic building and the relics it housed.

Earlier, French media reported that investigators consider a short circuit to be the likely cause of the fire at the iconic Paris cathedral.

Bad Guys

Never forget: Hero cop who blew whistle on OKC Bombing did not commit suicide

Terrance Yeakey
© The Free Thought Project
Instead of being treated as the hero he truly was, Sgt. Terrance Yeakey was silenced by his own government in an effort to keep him from exposing their complicity in one of the largest mass murders in American history - which senselessly ended the lives of 168 people, including 19 children.

According to his widow, instead of being showered with accolades by the US government for his heroism, Yeakey was killed, with his death being framed to look like a suicide (although a very poorly staged one) only days before receiving the police department's Medal of Valor for his heroic rescue efforts on day of the Oklahoma City bombing.

On May 11, 1996, only days after his Yeakey's death, the New York Times ran a story with the headline - A Policeman Who Rescued 4 in Bombing Kills Himself - but the bold assertion — that hero cop Sgt. Terrance Yeakey killed himself — couldn't be further from the truth.

While the NY Times article claimed that Yeakey committed suicide because he was living in such emotional pain from not being able to do more to help the people injured in the bombing, and that he was suffering from intense survivor guilt which he was unable to manage, this information has been repeatedly refuted by Yeakey's family.

In an effort to further muddy the waters surrounding his death, the Times story went on to claim:
Let's set the record straight.

Sgt. Yeakey's body was found in a field in El Reno, OK, over a mile away from his abandoned vehicle. There was an extremely large amount of blood found in his vehicle, he had been bound, had rope burn on his neck, ligature marks on his wrists, numerous deep cuts, likely tortured and killed execution-style with a single bullet that entered his right temple at a 45-degree angle. To top it off, no gun was found at the scene of his death — until an FBI agent showed up and suspiciously found a gun in an already thoroughly searched area within 5 minutes of being there.

Sgt. Terrance Yeakey was a 7-year veteran of the Oklahoma City PD, one of the first on the scene of the OKC bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Yeakey became known as a hero after saving the lives of eight people on the morning of April 19, 1995. However, he was uncomfortable being looked at as a hero and didn't consider himself one, only as a man doing his job.

Far from being suicidal, Yeakey was in the process of achieving some major life goals. He was scheduled for a final interview for a job with the FBI in Irving, TX, and with hopes of being hired to work for the FBI in Dallas. In direct contradiction to the Times nebulous reporting about the Yeakey's potential relationship trouble, the couple had recently reconciled and had discussed getting remarried.

The real story behind Yeakey's death, as attested to by his ex-wife, Tonia Yeakey, is that he witnessed things during his response to the bombing which did not agree with the 'official version' of events being forwarded by law enforcement and national media at that time and began collecting evidence to support his contentions.

Quenelle - Golden

23 Weeks And Counting: Major Turnout For Yellow Vest Protest in Paris - Hundreds Arrested & Injured by Police

Comment: There was yet another massive Yellow Vest turnout across France today. Tens of thousands of security forces again broke up their gatherings with copious amounts of 'tear' gas, mass arrests, baton charges, and 'flash-ball' grenades. Dozens of people were seriously injured. Journalists and anyone filming events were targeted by police, who have apparently been tasked with minimizing the appearance online of their heavy-handed clampdown on pro-democracy protesters. This tactic doesn't appear to be working...

yellow vests acte 23
© Michel Euler / AP
Acte XXIII: A Yellow Vest protester - aka a French patriot - at Place de la République, Paris, 20 April 2019.
Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians' calls for "unity" in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday's protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

"The rioters will be back tomorrow," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. "The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame."

Comment: Well that's a interesting statement. Not only does he smear a movement supported by 80% of the population as 'rioters', the Interior Minister is lamenting that the Notre Dame Fire didn't put out the Yellow Vest fire.

Is he suggesting that that's what it was intended to do?

Star of David

Israeli settler rams Palestinian woman with truck, IDF soldiers kill teen at her funeral

Fatima Suleiman
A Palestinian woman was killed, earlier Thursday morning, near her home in Teqoua' town, southeast of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, after being rammed by the car of an illegal colonialist settler. The soldiers later shot and seriously injured a Palestinian teen while handcuffed, when he reportedly attempted to escape.

The slain Palestinian woman has been identified as Fatima Suleiman, 42.

According to eyewitnesses, the assailant was driving a large truck when he struck the woman's car, throwing her out of the vehicle, and then rammed and killed her, before fleeing the scene.

The slain Palestinian woman was a teacher at the Rashayda School.

The Israeli Police did come to the scene, but only to remove all security camera footage from a house overlooking the area where the incident took place.

Comment: Shameful.


Ancestry.com accused of whitewashing slavery in new ad

ancestry ad
© YouTube / Ancestry.com
Genealogy site Ancestry.com has apologized and removed an ad featuring a pre-Civil War interracial couple after critics slammed the spot, claiming it whitewashed the widespread sexual exploitation of slave women.

"We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologize for any offense that the ad may have caused," Ancestry.com spokeswoman Gina Spatafore wrote in an email, adding that the spot had been removed from YouTube and was in the process of being pulled from TV stations.

The offending commercial shows a lovestruck white man promising his black lady-love that "there's a place we can be together, across the border" (presumably Canada, since the web address given at the end of the ad is Ancestry.ca, not Ancestry.com). The woodenly-acted scene fades into a marriage certificate dated 1857, six years before slavery was abolished in the US. While the spot reportedly played without incident on Utah TV stations earlier this month, the backlash hit this week, when the clip went viral on social media.


Florida officials accused by defense attorneys of peddling alleged Kraft sex tape to the media

Attorneys for the owner and manager of a Florida day spa, where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other men were allegedly caught on camera receiving sexual favors are claiming either prosecutors or police are trying to profit from the unauthorized sale of the footage "to the highest bidder," according to newly filed court documents.

"I am deeply disturbed that someone in the Palm Beach County attorney's office or Jupiter Police Department - who are the only ones with access to these video - would attempt to sell and profit from these videos and be in contempt of the courts orders," attorney Tama Beth Kudman told ABC News on Friday. "It's disgraceful."

Kudman, who represents Hua Zhang, the owner of Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida - charged with multiple counts of running a brothel - in an emergency motion for an order to show cause filed on Thursday evening. The motion seeks to hold officials in criminal contempt and "for violation of this Court's order prohibiting the release of the video surveillance in this case," according to filing.

"The motion is asking the court to get to the bottom of whoever attempted to sell these videos and hold whoever it is in contempt because they are violating the judge's order. It's disgraceful," Kudman told ABC News.

Comment: See also: Second billionaire charged in connection to prostitution ring, warrant for his arrest issued


Lawsuit alleges guards laughed as white supremacist stabbed handcuffed black inmates

prison attack

Surveillance footage shows a 2017 knife attack at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville.
An Ohio prison staff acted with callous indifference as a white supremacist attacked four black inmates handcuffed to a table, according to a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month in the Southern District of Ohio.

Two correctional officers, identified only by their surnames, Faye and Dalton, laughed as the four black inmates were brutally stabbed in June 2017, the suit says. The incident was captured on surveillance footage and viewed by millions.

The suit seeks $75,000 in damages on behalf of two of the victims, Shamieke Pugh and Maurice Lee. It claims the victims' civil rights were violated, including that they suffered cruel and unusual punishment because of the prison guards' inaction.

According to the lawsuit:

Pugh, Lee and two other black inmates were strip searched before they were allowed out of their cells for recreational time. They were then handcuffed to a table.



Florida deputies filmed pepper-spraying, tackling and punching teens gathered to witness a fight

police brutality
The Broward County Sheriff's Office is investigating cellphone videos that show deputies pepper-spraying and tackling teenagers Thursday afternoon outside of a McDonald's in Tamarac.

A witness told NBC 6 that a large crowd of students from J.P. Taravella High School had formed outside of the restaurant before 3 p.m. after rumors that a fight was going to happen.

The fight never occurred, but the witness said deputies arrived and threatened to spray the crowd with pepper spray if they didn't disperse. It's unclear whether BSO units were called out to the scene or if they were already there, BSO said.

The witness said a student was grabbed and handcuffed by a deputy. Another student who was trying to defend the first student approached the deputies and got pepper-sprayed and thrown to the ground, the witness said.

Comment: Video footage: