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Never Too Young Or Too Old To Be Accosted By Cops In Miami Gardens, Florida

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Miami Gardens

If Florida has become the laughing stock of the country when it comes to law enforcement, then this story should come as no surprise. Miami Gardens, Florida. Ever hear of it? It's a city on the northern border of Miami. It's estimated population, as of 2011 is around 110,000. That number will be relevant in a moment.

Before that though, it's interesting to take note that the city has its own stop and frisk laws. And if you thought what was happening in New York under Bloomberg was shameful, here's the big apple on steroids.

From Fusion Network (co-owned by the Disney Corporation and Univision Communications) -- known for also owning ABC News and Univision Television comes a startling series of reports.

In the summer of 2010, a young black man was stopped and questioned by police on the streets of Miami Gardens, Florida. According to the report filled out by the officer, he was "wearing gray sweatpants, a red hoodie and black gloves” giving the police "just cause” to question him. In the report, he was labeled a "suspicious person.”

He was an 11-year-old boy on his way to football practice.

That might seem a bit "aggressive" but cops have to be vigilant for our safety.

A Fusion investigation has found that he was just one of 56,922 people who were stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens Police Department (MGPD) between 2008 and 2013. That’s the equivalent of more than half of the city’s population.

Here's the topper:

Not one of them was arrested.

Let's back up. Half of the city's population has been stopped and frisked and not one arrest?

According to a review of 99,980 "field contact” reports, they were stopped, written up and often identified as "suspicious” -- but just like the 11-year-old boy -- the encounter was recorded in a public database, and they were let go.

Fusion’s analysis of more than 30,000 pages of field contact reports, shows how aggressive and far-reaching the police actions were. Some residents were stopped, questioned and written up multiple times within minutes of each other, by different officers. Children were stopped by police in playgrounds. Officers even wrote a report identifying a five-year-old child as a "suspicious person."

Lest you think just tweens and teens are being targeted, seniors as well.

Senior citizens were stopped and questioned near their retirement home, including a 99-year-old man deemed to be "suspicious.”

What made this 99 year old suspicious other than he was still breathing on his own at that age? And God bless him, BTW.

Two officers from the MGPD told Fusion that high-ranking department officials gave them orders to "bring in the numbers” by conducting stops and arrests. One officer said he was ordered to stop all black males between 15 and 30 years of age.

What is this whole thing is about? It's an outrage. Can there be any valid defense of these actions? Here's the Miami Garden's Police Department's official justification for this program that's stopped so many and arrested so few (if you call zero being a few).

According to the current police chief, simply being in a "high crime area” may be enough reason to stop and question people. Because of the city’s high crime rate, this means virtually any person can be stopped.

If this stop and frisk program was working, then why is there a high crime area? It should have little to none -- just like their arrest reports. This is nothing more than institutional harassment and needs to be stopped.  This is as blatant as civil rights infringements can get.

If you want to see for yourself how random all of this is, check out this video from Fusion.

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Do Cliven Bundy, Bill Kristol and Donald Sterling Speak For Chief Justice Roberts?

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KKKCrossRallyw259h204

Racism is a thing of the past. Just look at the Chief Justice Roberts's Court and his beliefs that racism no longer exists in the United States. Blacks and other minorities no longer need protections to their right to vote nor affirmative action.

How trippy is this guy? What bubble does he live in? Let's just look at the recent racist news.

The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts strikes down affirmative action in Michigan, claiming it would be racist to take race into consideration where inequality is the question.

Cliven Bundy, becomes an instant hero to conservatives. They gush over the man who's a scofflaw for refusing to pay court-mandated grazing fees for his cattle. The "Right" couldn't get enough of him until he took again to the pulpit to lecture America about the "lazy Negro" and how the Black race would be better off as slaves. (His words, not mine).

Then when this draws outrage, some of the right wingnuts and spokespeople tone down their love of the crusty old cowboy outlaw. Not all, but some. And I'll even credit Sean Hannity from distancing himself, not totally, but partially, over Bundy's race remarks.

Notice I said some right wingnuts. That's because there's always the reliable Bill Kristol.

Within hours of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist comments to his Black/Hispanic girlfriend (whom he's openly seeing despite his being married), the ever 'balanced' Kristol stuck up for Sterling, urging caution. Remember, like the Chief Justice, Kristol isn't sure that racism really does still exist.

The Raw Story:

Conservative pundit Bill Kristol on Sunday urged people to judge NBA team owner Don Sterling by his “deeds,” and not to “go hysterical over two or three sentences” where he tells his girlfriend to stay away from black men.

Okay, Bill, let's not get hysterical over a few insensitive if not outright racist sentences. Judge the man by his deeds you say. How's this set of deeds float your boat?

The Los Angeles Times:

The racist comments purportedly made by Donald Sterling in the audio recording that surfaced Saturday via TMZ.com are the latest in a years-long string of racially-charged incidents linked to the real estate mogul.

In 2009, Sterling agreed to a $2.765-million settlement in a case that alleged discrimination against African-Americans, Latinos and others at apartment buildings he owned in Los Angeles County.

Are these the deeds you were asking us to use as judgment?

If  this man is anything short of a racist you might need to look in the mirror and take an assessment of yourself. You're a spokesman for ultra right conservatives. Are you speaking for them now? If so, you're just like Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling and evidently Justice Roberts in having your head in the sand or up your ass. You're not seeing what the rest of the world knows is the truth. We have very little racial tolerance in the world, and the US is no exception. It would be much better for you and all of us if you'd use your platform to ease and ultimately someday erase racial inequality and hatred. Not fuel the fires with your ignorance.

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When's A Co*ksucker Not A Co*ksucker? When Geraldo Says So

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hate speak

First we have the recent past firing for homophobic remarks by Alec Baldwin. Then we get the Martin Bashir grotesque Sarah Palin comment. Now we have the ensuing kerfuffle going on with the racist and homophobic Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) in a GQ interview. Seems like outrage and a bit  more as opponent and proponents are bashing each other, each side staking out the first amendment claim.

Fox News put their "A" team on the issue of limits and virtues of freedom of speech. Who better, right? These are the folks that discovered WMD in Iraq, the conspiracies behind Benghazi, the IRS, even the secret war on Christmas. They definitively proclaimed Santa AND Jesus are white. Face it, when there's a controversy, there's no source better suited for getting to the bottom of an issue than Fox News. God bless Rupert Murdoch's merry band of men and women.

According to crack reporter and commentator Geraldo Rivera, he's determined that there are times when offensive speak isn't really offensive. It all has to do with your background. If you grew up in a neighborhood where racial or homophobic slurs were part of everyday vernacular, he's discovered a new defense. The Peter Pan doctrine. You never have to grow up. You can use all the hate speech you want because you're inbred with it and don't have to change or learn with the times. It's okay with Geraldo if you go out there and call him a spic-kike cocksucker because that's what he heard growing up.

HUFFPO:

In a bizarre pronouncement by ever-colorful Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera, the veteran commentator has defended Alec Baldwin's recent homophobic outburst toward a paparazzo, claiming "cocksucking faggot" isn't necessarily a gay slur.

"I don't think all insults are equal," Rivera said during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show December 19. Rivera was chiming in to a heated discussion between Hannity and panelists Rachel Sklar and about whether or not A&E made a mistake by suspending “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for recent anti-LGBT and racist statements.

See for yourself how Sean Hannity, Geraldo Rivera and Rachel Sklar feel about this controversy. It just makes you hear that old bromide defending children for doing horrific bad things and not wanting to make them take responsibility--

"You know, it's just boys being boys. Cut 'em some slack. You were a kid once."

And just to clear it up for Hannity, both Baldwin and Bashir were fired. For professional courtesy, they were technically invited to resign which they did. Nobody fired Phil Robertson. He's only been suspended. So there's a bit of a double standard, perhaps, but the Duck Dynasty guy will still has a show -- Baldwin and Bashir don't.

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Epidemic of Voter Fraud Rampant In Iowa - Republican Investigation Proves It

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black voters

It's never to early to stage a fight for people's rights. And in this case, it's the voter rights act, or what's left of it. As you'll see below, Chris Hayes does a great job summing up the issues that are happening thanks to the scurrilous political right. If they don't succeed in stopping selected groups of voters, these wingnuts will lose their grip on power. And make no mistake, they do have the upper hand in power in most of the country, and not just the south. Take the case of Republican  Iowa Secretary of State, Matt Schultz:

This movement of tamping down minority vote has been with us since reconstruction. Before that, Blacks and other minorities were just plain denied the right to vote, even if born here. Color was the obstacle. Jim Crow laws replaced just straight refusal which was followed by gangs literally beating minority voters, sometimes to death for even showing up at a poll. And then again there were the poll taxes.

But these measures were about hate, not fraud... or so they appeared. Then next step up the illusion trail to keep minorities away is the current voter fraud issue. It's so rampant that candidates have based their entire statewide campaign on stamping out voter fraud -- and won. That tired scare tactic has worked. Yet when you run on a platform, you are usually called into service upon taking office to move on the issue.

That brings us to Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R). He did as promised and pulled back the curtain on rampant voter fraud in his state. Huffpo revealed this:

Since taking office in 2011, Schultz has made safeguarding the ballot box from fraud a top state priority, striking a two-year deal with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation in 2012 that directed $280,000 of federal funds toward voter fraud inquiries. Additionally, a full-time agent was hired and assigned to pursue voter fraud cases.

The results were as reported by Chris Hayes in the video above. There is really no true voter fraud. There's bigotry fraud. And that's what this is all about, summed up perfectly by a well-respected Republican

In August, former U.S. Secretary of StateColin Powell criticized the argument of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) that his approval of a more restrictive voting bill would combat voter fraud.

“You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” Powell said at the CEO Forum in Raleigh, N.C. “How can it be widespread and undetected?”

Voter ID laws are not going away anytime soon. So maybe it's time to take the campaign to get picture approved ID's to those without. A door to door program of volunteers to help people accumulate the necessary papers and documents, and then give them a ride to their DMV to get free photo ID's might be what it takes. But when those eligible voters get their identification, they can go from being denied, to doing the denying -- denying the racist incumbents who earlier denied them the right to vote from returning to office. Give them a dose of their own medicine.

You can follow me on twitter: @Linzack

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