US governor pardons child rapist for money

This 28 December 2019 video from the USA is called [Republican] Kentucky Governor Pardons Violent Criminals For Campaign Cash.

Former Kentucky Governor Bevin pardoned a child rapist. One of his reasons: The 9-year-old victim’s hymen was intact. By Ray Sanchez and Evan Simko-Bednarski, CNN.

By Veronica Stracqualursi and Natasha Chen, CNN, December 19, 2019:

Bevin pardoned and commuted the sentence of Patrick Baker, who convicted of reckless homicide in 2017.

The Courier-Journal reported that Baker’s family had held a fundraiser and donated to Bevin’s gubernatorial campaigns. Baker served two years of a 19-year sentence, while his co-defendants are still in prison, the newspaper reported.

From that The Courier-Journal article:

The Friday order was one of 428 pardons and commutations Bevin issued since his narrow loss in November to Democrat Andy Beshear, who was sworn into office Tuesday.

The beneficiaries include one offender convicted of raping a child, another who hired a hitman to kill his business partner and a third who killed his parents.

Kentucky, USA racist murder of African Americans

This 31 October 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Kentucky Shooting of Two Blacks: ‘No Surprise,’ Given the Rise of Ultra-Right

Lost in the news of hate crimes over the past week was a random shooting of two Blacks in Kentucky by a white man. President Trump’s fanning of racial resentment is leading to an atmosphere where such attacks are becoming more and more common, says Prof. Gerald Horne.

United States wars come home as school mass shootings

This video from the USA says about itself:

Student recounts “terror” amid Kentucky school shooting

24 January 2018

Tristan Cline, a junior at Marshall County High School, had just arrived at school Tuesday when a shooting was unfolding. He was able to rush his friend to the hospital. Cline joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss what he witnessed.

By Tom Eley in the USA:

Another American mass shooting, this time in western Kentucky

25 January 2018

Western Kentucky became the scene of the latest American mass shooting on Tuesday morning, when a 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun inside Marshall County High School in Benton, killing two and wounding 18.

Baily Nicole Holt, 15, died at the scene. Preston Ryan Cope, also 15, died later at a trauma center. Sixteen other students were struck by bullets, and two more were injured while trying to escape. Three of the injured are reportedly in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. The injured range in age from 14 to 18.

The assailant, whose identity has not been released, was taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies. Authorities have stated that he will face charges of murder and attempted murder. Marshall County Attorney Jeff Edwards said he would be tried as an adult.

The shooting began at 7:57 a.m. The suspect was arrested, apparently without a struggle, at 8:06 a.m. The minutes between are described by witnesses and survivors.

Students were “busting down the gates and fences just to get out,” said Shea Thompson, whose two siblings survived the attack. Her brother Shawn, 15, called her “in complete panic,” she said. “He was yelling: ‘Someone’s shooting! Someone’s shooting!’”

Other students called their parents, including Missy Hufford’s son, Ethan, 15. “[H]e said, ‘Mom, there’s been a shooting.’ And I asked him if he was okay, and he said, ‘I’m running,’”she told a reporter.

The Kentucky shooting came one day after a teenager opened fire in the Italy, Texas high school cafeteria. A 16-year-old girl was wounded in the attack in a small town south of Dallas.

The response from politicians and media to the latest shootings has followed a tired and predictable pattern, with half-hearted lamentations about the “tragedy” and “senselessness” of the violence, invocations of god and prayer …

The politicians dare not confront the most glaringly obvious question: Why do these attacks happen with such frequency in the United States? What is it about American society that incubates the propensity for these crimes, which are so very often carried out by young people?

This is not even western Kentucky’s first mass high school shooting. Just one month ago, area residents gathered to unveil a monument to the victims of the Heath High School shooting of 1997, in which three students were killed and five students wounded by 14-year-old Michael Carneal, who is now serving a life sentence in prison. That shooting took place in West Paducah, just 40 miles from Benton.

Two years later, in 1999, came Colorado’s Columbine massacre, in which two teenagers killed 13 in a high school, and then themselves. Since West Paducah and Columbine, one mass killing has followed the previous one with ever greater frequency.

The epoch of the mass shooting roughly corresponds to the quarter century of war waged by the American ruling class: Iraq (1990), Somalia (1993), Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2001-present), Iraq again (2003-present), Libya (2011), and Syria (2014-present).

Over the same time-frame a much longer list of mass killings has taken place, including in the last five years alone the 2017 Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting (27 dead) and Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada (59 dead); in 2016 the Pulse Nightclub shootings in Orlando, Florida (49 dead); in 2015 the San Bernardino, California shooting (14 dead) and the Umpqua Community College shooting, Oregon (10 dead); in 2013 the Washington Navy Yard shooting, Washington DC (13 dead); and in 2012 the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Newtown, Connecticut (28 dead) and the Century 16 movie theater shooting, Aurora, Colorado (12 dead.)

According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization, 2017 was “the deadliest year of mass shootings in modern US history.” The outfit tallied 345 mass shootings, defined as an incident in which four or more people are shot (not including the shooter). Overall, the web site calculates that more than 15,000 people in the US died from gun violence last year, with another 31,000 injured.

Each of the perpetrators of the mass shootings that have taken place at schools, colleges, and workplaces in America over the past quarter century has had his or her individual psychological history. But even individual psychological problems are rooted in social conditions.

The general brutality of American society, the degree to which human beings are treated by the powers that be as thoroughly expendable, has played a role. Government officials routinely refer to “taking out” alleged terrorists or entire governments that stand in the way of US foreign policy. Individuals are dispatched without so much as a second thought, whether through legal, barbaric executions in many US states, or by illegal “targeted assassinations” and drone strikes. Above all, there has been endless war.

A 16-year-old high school student today would have no conscious political memory of any time when America was not at war. Quite possibly neither would his parents: A 40-year-old would have been but 13 at the time of Desert Storm, the first war on Iraq.

The last quarter century has also witnessed a vast social and cultural retrogression. There is nothing readily available to help youth to understand history and the potential of humanity. Funding for the arts and social studies have been cut from the public schools, very nearly to the vanishing point. Hollywood, popular music, the entertainment industry as a whole, often appeal to the basest instincts—violence, revenge, moneymaking.

Earlier generations of Americans could turn to the trade unions, or mass movements of working class and middle class youth—including the Civil Rights and antiwar movements—to understand some of their problems and channel their anger.

Benton sits near the old coal mining regions of eastern Kentucky and southern Illinois and Indiana, near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. At one time in this region’s history the United Mine Workers (UMW) provided a voice not only to the miners, but to the region’s poor. From the 1890s to the 1940s, union locals—heavily influenced by socialism and, occasionally, powerful national strikes—gave outlet to common problems. Now, where it still exists, the UMW functions as another layer of management. The story is much the same across the country. Only the names of the industries and the unions have to be changed.

In the absence of organized resistance from the working class and the youth—which had been a constant factor in American history for a century previous—there has been nothing to hold the appetites of the ruling class at bay. Social inequality has reached unprecedented levels and continues to accelerate. An entire generation of youth faces the prospect of unemployment or low pay, the inability to start a household, and, with all of that, an attendant mood of hopelessness and desperation.

It is not possible, in short, to understand the contagion of mass violence in the US outside of an understanding of American capitalism, in all of its violence and reaction—and, more necessary still—outside of the fight against it.

US Republican governor threatens violence if Trump loses election

This video from the USA says about itself:

Republican Governor Warns Of Bloodshed

14 September 2016

Gov. Matt Bevin used the violent ‘Tree of Liberty’ quote in a speech to Values Voter Summit. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

By Nick Barrickman in the USA:

Republican governor threatens violence if Hillary Clinton is elected

15 September 2016

On Saturday, Republican Governor Matthew Bevin of Kentucky made a threat of violence if Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is elected in November. In an apocalyptic screed at the socially conservative Value Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., Bevin urged an audience of conservative activists to “fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically. But that may, in fact, be the case.”

“Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive, that we’d ever be able to recover as a nation?’” Bevin asked rhetorically. “I do think it would be possible, but at what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood of who? The tyrants, to be sure, but who else? The patriots,” Bevin declared, paraphrasing the famous Thomas Jefferson quote. “Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren.”

Continuing, the Republican governor appealed to an array of religion-based social prejudices, stating, “Look at the atrocity of abortion, so many have remained silent. It’s a slippery slope. First we’re killing children, then it’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ Now it’s this gender-bending, don’t ask, don’t be a bigot, don’t be unreasonable, don’t be unenlightened, heaven forbid.”

Bevin’s comments follow in the wake of a number of statements made by prominent Republican officials during the presidential elections hinting at violence. Speaking of a future President Hillary Clinton before an audience in North Carolina a month ago, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks … Although the Second Amendment [gun-owning] people—maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Amid a media backlash over the obvious suggestion that only Clinton’s assassination could prevent her appointing judges after she entered the White House, Trump’s campaign released a statement declaring that the comment regarding the Second Amendment right to bear arms was simply a reference to voting.

Right-wing violence has been a regular occurrence throughout the 2016 elections. In March, two protesters were physically assaulted by audience members at a Trump campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky. News cameras captured one protester, an African American woman, repeatedly hit and called racial slurs by audience members after Trump had stopped his speech to demand that security remove her.

Bevin, who was elected last year as Kentucky’s governor, succeeding Democrat Steve Beshear, is one of the highest-ranking Republican officials to make such threats. The increasingly strident invocations of bloodshed and violence are aimed at whipping up and channeling the anger of deeply disoriented social layers and lay the groundwork for a fascistic movement, whatever the outcome of the November election.

The principal target is not Clinton and the Democrats, who are right-wing representatives of the ruling class, but the working class. It is part of the assault on democratic rights as a whole, as the corporate and financial elite prepares to meet social opposition with repression.

After the Kentucky Governor’s statements received harsh rebuking from local Democratic Party officials, his administration claimed that the “blood of tyrants” comment and others were references to military service. “Today we have thousands of men and women in uniform fighting for us overseas, and they need our full backing,” Bevin said. “We cannot be complacent about the determination of radical Islamic extremists to destroy our freedoms.”

On the face it, such a “clarification” is nonsensical. Bevin was clearly talking about physical resistance to the policies of a future Clinton administration. As for his reference to ISIS, one of the key planks of the Clinton campaign is to extend and deepen the US military’s operations in the Middle East and beyond.

Bevin, a former US Army captain and businessman, began his political career in 2014, challenging Senator Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the US Senate, from the right, as the candidate of the so-called Tea Party. After a landslide defeat in the primary, he switched his focus to the 2015 gubernatorial race.

In September 2015, Bevin offered full-throated support to Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who went to jail rather than obey a federal court order to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Upon entering the governor’s office last December, Bevin issued an executive order which allowed state law clerks to have their signatures kept off of marriage licenses “to ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored.”

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The Republicans plumb the depths
[20 July 2016]

A billboard in Maryland has been slammed for warning liberals to “get your guns” before trying to impeach Trump.

WARNING: ‘NO PEACEFUL TRANSITION’ IF TRUMP LOSES ELECTION Cohen concluded his testimony by predicting that the United States would not see “a peaceful transition of power” if Trump loses the 2020 election. Here are all the wildest moments from the hearing. [HuffPost]

‘THERE IS NO REPUBLICAN PARTY’ Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the Republican Party is “taking a nap somewhere,” claiming “There is no Republican Party … There’s a Trump Party.” [HuffPost]

Homophobic preacher’s equal marriage boycott fails

This video from Texas in the USA says about itself:

Raging Homophobe Checked By Cowboy Hat Wearing Bystander

27 October 2014

“An angry man was caught on video last week attacking a fellow passenger at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, apparently because he thought the man was gay. But then, a group of bystanders, including a man in a cowboy hat, quickly took action to bring the man down, according to the video.

That was homophobia in practice. Now, about the theory of homophobia.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Conservative pastor tries to get Christians to boycott same-sex weddings, fails

Posted an hour ago by Evan Bartlett

A Baptist pastor in the southern states of the US is trying to get Christians to shun same-sex weddings – even of their own children – claiming that attendance justifies the “sinfulness of homosexuality”.

The problem for Rev Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, is that not many people seem to be listening.

The Southern Baptist church was founded in the nineteenth century by pro-slavery Baptists who disagreed with anti-slavery Baptists in the northern states of the USA.

In a new book called We Cannot Be Silent, the right-wing pastor claims that same-sex marriages are sinful and even urges transgender people to consult their church leaders about “reverting“.

According to the Huffington Post, the controversial Mohler has even claimed in the past that the Pope holds an “un-Biblical” office and has stated that Christians shouldn’t practice yoga.

At some point, attendance will involve congratulating the couple for their union. If you can’t congratulate the couple, how can you attend?

Rev Mohler

Despite Mohler’s calls, Think Progress has charted the growing movement of pro-LGBT Christians in the US who are rejecting his hateful message.

The Presbyterian Church (USA), Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and United Church of Christ (UCC) all now marry those in the LGBT community and a recent study showed that the majority of most religious groups in the US support equal marriage.

Perhaps Rev. Mohler is worried that if parents attend such a wedding, all they will see is a sacred and holy commitment being made between two people and an invitation to God to be present in the couple’s relationship — as Christian as any marriage could be.

Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay man ordained as an Episcopal bishop, speaking to ThinkProgress

Separately, the Huffington Post quotes Stephen Arterburn, a Christian author and radio host, who said: “I have to extrapolate that Jesus would be all for attending a same-sex marriage ceremony,” based on Jesus’ example of dining with prostitutes and drunkards.

Jesus called us to love one another, not boycott our friends and family. Perhaps Rev Mohler is concerned that if he attends a same-sex wedding, the real miracles won’t be Jesus turning water into wine, but hatred into compassion.

Alex McNeil, head of pro-LGBT advocacy group More Light Presbyterians

This music video is called Leon Redbone- Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now).

Talking about Louisville: according to this music video, there was once a man there called Big Bad Bill. However, he changed his behaviour for the better. So, maybe the ‘Reverend’ Big Bad Al from Louisville will one day see the error of his ways, and become Sweet Albert.