Lyons sisters murders finally solved?

July 16th, 2015 2 comments

In 1975, Lloyd Lee Welch pulled up to a relative’s home along a steep hillside in Virginia, 200 miles southwest of suburban Washington. He carried two duffel bags, each weighing about 60 or 70 pounds, that had red stains and an odor of decay. A fire was built. The bags were thrown into it.

The account, described in court documents unsealed Wednesday in Bedford County, Va., appears to be one of the most compelling pieces of evidence implicating Welch in the long-ago disappearance of Sheila Lyon, 12, and her sister Katherine, 10. Authorities also announced that Welch, a 58-year-old imprisoned child sex offender, was indicted Friday on two counts of first-degree murder in the course of an abduction.
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Categories: Criminal Activity Tags:

Go Set a Watchman: Tonight’s the Night

July 13th, 2015 11 comments

And herein lies the paradox at the heart of “Watchman” that many white Americans still cannot or will not comprehend: that one can at once believe in the ideal of “justice for all” — as Atticus once purported to — and yet maintain a deeply ingrained and unexamined notion of racial difference now based in culture as opposed to biology, a milder yet novel version of white supremacy manifest in, for example, racial profiling, unfair and predatory lending practices, disparate incarceration rates, residential and school segregation, discriminatory employment practices and medical racism.

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Republicans cringe as Donald Trump continues to mouth flash

July 9th, 2015 58 comments

The head of the Republican National Committee, responding to demands from increasingly worried party leaders, spent nearly an hour Wednesday on the phone with Donald Trump, urging the presidential candidate to tone down his inflammatory comments about immigration that have infuriated a key election constituency.

The call from Chairman Reince Priebus, described by donors and consultants briefed on the conversation and confirmed by the RNC, underscores the extent to which Trump has gone from an embarrassment to a cause for serious alarm among top Republicans in Washington and nationwide.


But there is little they can do about the mogul and reality-television star, who draws sustenance from controversy and attention. And some fear that, with assistance from Democrats, Trump could become the face of the GOP.

Rather than backing down from his comments about illegal immigrants — whom he characterized as rapists and killers, among other things — Trump has amplified his remarks at every opportunity, including in a round of interviews Wednesday.

He insisted to NBC News that he has “nothing to apologize for” in his repeated remarks about Mexicans. But he also predicted that, if he secures the GOP nomination, “I’ll win the Latino vote.”

So the Dump Trump and Trump Trump crowd grows even larger.  What an embarrassment.  Trump is not only an embarrassment about immigration–he is an all-around embarrassment on pretty much all topics.  He is an egotist and a blow-hard.  He is, above all, un-presidential.

Meanwhile, the more interviews Trump gives, the more Republicans cringe.  Unless Trump is contained, the Republicans are pretty much guaranteeing that they won’t retake the White House for decades, if ever.  Isn’t there a way that political parties can filter out people who are simply unsuitable to run under their banner?

Categories: Elections, Immigration Tags:

Disney removes Bill Cosby statue

July 8th, 2015 1 comment

A major Disney theme park is removing a likeness of Bill Cosby after this week’s revelation the comedian provided drugs to women with whom he wished to have sex.

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I resisted jumping on this bandwagon.  People are innocent until proven guilty.  Or are they?

Bill Cosby has been like Santa Claus to me, since I was a very young adult. Now we find out that Santa Claus was really a pervert.  Cosby allegedly not only was a sexual predator, but he drugged young women in order to accomplish his advances.  Over 30 women have gone public with their accusations.

Cosby is a warning to us all.  Not all rapists jump out of the bushes at us.  Some, like Cosby, are beloved icons and steal into our living rooms via TV and recordings.  They lull us into a false sense of security.  We trust our sons and daughters with these “trust-worthy” figures because they say the right things.  They make us feel safe.  Such was the case with Bill Cosby.  .




Categories: sexual issues Tags:

Rick Bentley RIP 1965-2015

July 7th, 2015 39 comments

No, Rick wasn’t his real name.  I knew that Rick has been sick with pancreatitis.  His Facebook page said he was waiting for a diagnosis of what they now thought was pancreatic cancer.  I didn’t contact him at the time.  I meant to.  Yes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Today I was going to ask him if he had gotten some better news.  I was going to ask him if he needed anything.  As I went to his Fb page I saw the bad news.  Rick died June 26, at his home.  He was 49 year old.  That’s just too effen young to die.

Rick was brilliant.  I followed him on bvbl years ago and was impressed with his reasoning.  He could also irritate the living hell out of all of us at one time or another.  He was a provocateur.

Rick was quite an accomplished movie critic.  He saw most of the new film.  I am sure he got more out of a movie than I ever did.  I sincerely hope he is in some great theater in the sky, chunking down popcorn and having the time of his life.

I thought about posting the obituary here but then decided not to.  He used a moniker here and I will respect that, even in death.

I am extremely saddened by this horrible news.  The good part of it is, he didn’t  suffer long.  He announced on FB that the doctors thought he might have cancer on June 18.  He died on June 26 at his home.

I am heart broken.  I will miss that smart ass horribly.




Categories: General Tags:

Gilbert and Lingamfelter obfuscate the issue of same-sex marriage

July 5th, 2015 56 comments

Richmond Times Dispatch:

After the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly are preparing to push back in what they call a culture war aimed at destroying religious freedoms.

Del. C. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, said protections of religious liberties are going to be the primary focus for House Republicans in the 2016 General Assembly session, which begins in January.

“My concern is that the ultimate goal of the far left is not to secure rights for gay individuals but to tear down religious institutions and the belief systems that support them,” Gilbert said this week.

Asserting that this is the “next frontier for the far left,” Gilbert said he believes it is “more important than ever that we ensure that people’s deeply held convictions” are protected.

“If we are truly going to live in a world where everyone is afforded their rights to live their lives precisely as they please, then surely that has to include people of faith as well,” he said.

While GOP leaders in both houses of the legislature have acknowledged they will abide by the high court ruling that made same-sex marriage the law of the land, House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, said the most pressing concern now is protecting religious liberty.

“We will need to carefully evaluate how this ruling will be applied and make sure we take steps to protect faith leaders, churches, nonprofits and individuals,” Howell said in an email. “The House of Delegates will fight vigilantly to protect religious freedom.”

Gilbert was tapped to take the lead in reviewing current law and what other states are doing to determine what actions Republicans may take during the 2016 session.

I get it that some people feel gay marriage is wrong.  That’s OK.  They can have their beliefs.  The question isn’t what they believe, it’s how they behave.  Gilbert and Lingamfelter apparently want to legalize discrimination.  How well I recall Del. Lingamfelter pontificating in front of the General Assembly against a Richmond prosecutor being appointed a general district court judge because he was gay.   Actually,  the delegate used every reason in the world other than he was gay.  His message was still very transparent.

Someone please help me understand how religious rights have been violated or will be violated.  Gilbert and Lingamfelter are both known for extreme right positions that border on the ridiculous.   Unless Virginians are going to be lined up and forced to marry someone of the same sex, there are no violations.  People are still entitled to believe what they want to believe.   No one is suggesting that a “thought police”  be formed.

Virginians need to send a strong message to Lingamfelter and Gilbert that Virginians do not discriminate.  Since Virginia is for Lovers, that should include its elected representatives.  Both legislators need to understand that people don’t choose who they love.   They need to SDASTFU.  Maybe they need to get busy and work out some Medicaid legislation.  That issue is far more pressing for Virginians than who someone else marries.  It isn’t hurting them.

I guess this is the only way either man can appeal to his base.  How pathetic.

Categories: General, Va Politics, Virginia Tags:

Lethal injection upheld

June 29th, 2015 19 comments

The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 on Monday to uphold a procedure used by states to carry out executions by lethal injection.

The justices were considering a challenge brought by death-row inmates in Oklahoma, who allege that the use of a sedative called midazolam has resulted in troubling executions that violate the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Problematic executions in Oklahoma and elsewhere have captured national headlines since early last year.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority that included Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

That’s the long and short of it.   Part of the problem is being able to obtain lethal injection drugs because of the European community.  I have a few questions;

Why can’t we make our own lethal injection drugs?  What do we use to euthanize our pets?  Why can’t those drugs be used on those being executed?  It’s a lot kinder than what they did to someone.  One of the criminals in question raped and killed an 11 month old.  That that is one sick, depraved bastard.  Who cares if he writhes around a little.  Oooops.

Good job on this one, Supremes.

Categories: SCOTUS Tags:

Same-sex marriage, Obamacare, the flag–It’s been quite a week

June 26th, 2015 83 comments

The Supreme Court on Friday delivered an historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5-4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

The court’s action marks the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation’s jurisprudence. Advocates called it the most pressing civil rights issue of modern times, while critics said the courts had sent the country into uncharted territory by changing the traditional definition of marriage.

“The court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.

The country’s first legally recognized same-sex marriages took place just 11 years ago, the result of a Massachusetts state supreme court decision. Now, more than 70 percent of Americans live in states where same-sex couples are allowed to marry, according to estimates.

Holy cow, what a week.  Lots of change.  All of it was just a matter of time.  Now everyone can marry who they love, all over the nation.

Looking back, the end result of all these changes is that people have more rights.  This should be seen as a good thing.

Same-sex marriage was only a matter of time and is definitely a civil rights issue.  The LGBT community still has a long way to go to have full rights.  There still is no job protection, for example.  It’s been less than 50 years since Loving v. Virginia codified interracial marriage in Virginia.  At the turn of the century, there were places were homosexual sex was illegal.  Imagine the number of lives that have been ruined because former respected members of communities across the country were somehow discovered.  That is no longer an issue.

Just as a perspective, when I was a young psych major in college, homosexuality was by the  AMA  and the American Psychiatric Association as a mental illness.  We have come a long way, in so many respects.  The wheels of social justice march on.    Limbaugh has something to bitch about for decades.

Categories: Civil Rights, Gay/Lesbian, health care Tags:

Symbols of hate still on the market

June 26th, 2015 15 comments

Today I read an interesting article in the Washington Post about the history of the much maligned Confederate Flag. It was actually designed in Fairfax City so that troops could distinguish between North and South.

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Most people were unfamiliar with the history of this flag.  People on the street  were questioned about their opinions.  The article is a must-read.

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Categories: Hate Crimes/speech Tags:

Former Senator Jim Webb on the Confederate Flag and the Civil War

June 25th, 2015 8 comments


From Jim Webb’s Facebook page:

This is an emotional time and we all need to think through these issues with a care that recognizes the need for change but also respects the complicated history of the Civil War. The Confederate Battle Flag has wrongly been used for racist and other purposes in recent decades. It should not be used in any way as a political symbol that divides us.

But we should also remember that honorable Americans fought on both sides in the Civil War, including slave holders in the Union Army from states such as Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware, and that many non-slave holders fought for the South. It was in recognition of the character of soldiers on both sides that the federal government authorized the construction of the Confederate Memorial 100 years ago, on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.

This is a time for us to come together, and to recognize once more that our complex multicultural society is founded on the principle of mutual respect.

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Categories: Civil War, Commentary Tags: