Tuesday, December 07, 2021

The Groveland Four Are Exonerated ... After Seventy Years

In 1949, four young African American men— Ernest Thomas, Charles Greenlee, Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin—were accused of raping Norma Padgett and assaulting her husband. What happened to these men, soon dubbed the Groveland Four, in the aftermath of a lie is, I would say disgusting, but it’s what happened then, and continues to happen today, to our African American brothers and sisters in America.

After the accusation, Ernest Thomas fled from police, and a posse of 1,000 white men was sent out to capture him, but instead, they found him and shot him over four hundred times while he slept under a tree.

Irvin and Shepherd were arrested shortly after Padgett reported the attack and pol ice officers took the two men to a secluded spot where they were beaten with blackjacks and fists and kicked. They were then driven to the spot where the crime occurred so a deputy could match Shepherd's shoes to those found at the scene; there was not match. Still, the men were taken to Tavares jail, handcuffed to overhead pipes, and beaten and interrogated.

With the capture of Greenlee, just sixteen at the time, the three men were put on trial and convicted by an all-white jury. Greenlee was sentenced to life because of his age, while Irvin and Shepherd were sentenced to death.

But it didn’t stop there. In 1951, the US Supreme Court overturned the original convictions citing a lack of evidence, and as the local sheriff, Willis McCall, drove Shepherd and Irvin to court for their new trial, he says the two tried to escape; he shot and killed Shepherd and wounded Irvin.

Thurgood Marshall Sr., then with the NAACP, represented Irvin at his second trial, but another all-white jury convicted him, and he was again sentenced to death. He escaped execution in 1954 when Governor LeRoy Collins commuted his sentence to life with parole.

Greenlee was paroled in 1962 and died in 2012. Irvin died in 1969, one year after he was paroled.

And now, seventy-two years after their arrest and conviction the Groveland Four have been exonerated after Bill Gladson, a local prosecutor, requested a new hearing—coincidentally held in the same Lake County courthouse where the original trials were held—after he and an investigator interviewed Broward Hunter, the grandson of now-deceased Jesse Hunter, the prosecutor of two of the four defendants.

According to Broward Hunter his grandfather knew there was no rape; Hunter says he found letters in his grandfather’s office in 1971, that suggested Sheriff McCall murdered Shepherd and shot Irvin because of the sheriff’s involvement in an illegal gambling operation. Shepherd was believed to be involved with the gambling operation and McCall may have seen a rape case as a way to get Shepherd.

Armed with new information, Gladson presented his case and last week Florida Administrative Judge Heidi Davis officially acquitted Ernest Thomas, Samuel Shepherd, Charles Greenlee, and Walter Irvin.

Four young men, two murdered and two sent to prison, because a white woman lied, and a white sheriff lied, a white judge allowed the lies, and a white jury bought the lies, and yet the men’s families aren’t angry, but are instead hopeful that the case will spark a reexamination of other convictions of Black men and women from the Jim Crow era so those falsely convicted can have their names cleared.

Aaron Newson, Thomas’ nephew:

“We are blessed. I hope that this is a start because lot of people didn’t get this opportunity. A lot of families didn’t get this opportunity. Maybe they will. This country needs to come together.”

But if we really want this country to come together, we need to own its racist past. These four young men were robbed of their lives, literally—Ernest Thomas and Samuel Shepherd—and figuratively—Charles Greenlee, and Walter Irvin—who spent time in prison and the remainder of their lives being known as rapists.

This has to stop, and only by admitting it to ourselves, and I’m talking to white America, can we work to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen.

AL.com

Monday, December 06, 2021

It's Like I've Been Saying ....

This Bitch: Marjorie Taylor ... Crazy

Well, well, well, Georgia QAnon loon Representative, Marjorie Taylor Greene, has once again proven what an utter morn she is, and how the last place she needs to be is Congress.

This week she once more attacked COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures, like masks and vaccines, by … wait for it, it’s real … stupid … comparing COVID-19 deaths to those deaths caused by cancer:

“Every single year more than 600,000 people in the US die from cancer. The country has never once shut down. Not a single school has closed. And every year, over 600,000 people, of all ages and all races will continue to die from cancer.”

Oh Marge, you clinking clanking clacking collection of caliginous junk, while those Cancer death numbers are astonishing, Cancer is not contagious.

Again, if you have Cancer you cannot infect another person with it, but, sadly, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ignorance is infectious.

And dangerous, because people are dying of COVID-19 every single day because politician like Greene continue to downplay masks and vaccines and mandate’s that could keep all of us safe.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

I Ain't One To Gossip But ...

File this under: Obviously.

Jennifer Lopez has taken a break from parading former, now current, fiancé Ben Affleck down every red carpet she can find—seriously, roll out a red carpet in front of your house and she’ll show up—to promote her latest film Marry Me.

JLo in something called Marry Me? God, she is the picture of desperate. I imagine her sitting around with Ben and saying:

"Hey Ben? What’s the name of that movie I just made?”

And Ben says:

“Marry Me."

And JLo shrieks:

“YESSSSSSSSSSS!”

But that’s not far off, because while promoting the film, she was asked if she wanted to get hitched again and, shockingly, she said:

“You know me, I’m a romantic, I always have been ... I still believe in happily ever after, for sure, 100%.”

Jen? Honey? A few times is three, so with Ben …fingers crossed … you’re bordering on several marriages, and so you just know she’ll marry Ben because if she doesn’t how will she get to marriages 5, 6 and 7?

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Goddess this Bitch is so thirsty she makes JLo seem positively arid.

Madonna, still striving to be relevant, has slammed Instagram as sexist after the social media app ALLEGEDLY removed her latest photo shoot without warning because her nipple was showing.

Madge Madge Madge. You reek of desperation because any idiot knows that you can’t show your nipples and yet you go and do it and when the pictures get cut you cry foul. But the best part of all this is she manages to somehow equate her nipple getting cut with … wait for it … Thanksgiving, by saying this:

“Giving thanks that I have managed to maintain my sanity through four decades of censorship…… sexism……ageism and misogyny. Perfectly timed with the lies we have been raised to believe about the pilgrims peacefully breaking bread with the Native American Indians when they landed on Plymouth Rock! God bless America.”

I give thanks to the thought that her nipple was all she showed, until I saw this photo of her best side:

Seriously thirsty this woman. And is it just me or does she remind you of the Wicked Witch of the East after Dorothy's house fell on her?

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No mask? No vaccine? No job.

The ABC soap General Hospital recently terminated to contract of one Ingo Rademacher because he refused to get the COVID vaccination, and now another actor, 51-year-old Steve Burton, has also been let go.

Sorry, not sorry.

But Jason is the height of class and elegance in his firing because in his last appearance on the show he was sitting down and flashing the White Power sign across his knee.

Racist, anti-mandate unemployed tool. Again, not sorry.

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Seriously, these people simply cannot move on … some nine years after calling it quits Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy are still battling it out in court.

While their divorce took eight years to finalize—it’s about a year old now—Frankel and Hoppy will appear before a New York family court judge this week for a hearing involving custody of their daughter, Bryn.

The couple was first granted joint custody back in 2014, though Frankel went back to court in 2017 and was granted sole custody, but the battle raged, and rages, on.

Their daughter is now eleven and by the time these two fools get their act together she will be eighteen and they’ll be no need for custody agreements or parents who were married for two years and fighting about being married for nine years.

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For those of you who believed that so-not-gay Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello were a real couple and truly in love … until they broke up this week …think on this:

Shawn released a break-up ballad mere minutes after the couple split; yes, he wrote and arranged and produced and recorded and released a break-up song with these amazing lyrics while Camilla was still packing:

“If you tell me you’re leaving

I’ll make it easy

It’ll be okay

If we can’t stop the bleeding

We don’t have to fix it

We don’t have to stay”

Even better is that, while Shawn sings [?] about the breakup, he is said to be most heartbroken that Camilla got custody of the dog.

No word on when that song will be released.

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Friday, December 03, 2021

I Didn't Say It

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, ripping Republicans on their government shutdown threat:

“It is yet again, a double sense of irresponsibility: first of all they’d shut down government, and then they’d shut down science. How do they explain to the public that they’re shutting down government because they don’t want people to get vaccinated? This is so silly that we have people who are anti-science, anti-vaccination saying they’re going to shut down government over that. And you’re asking me what’s our message?”

The Democratic message is ‘Keep people healthy, keep people alive,’ while the GOP message is ‘It’s our party and we’ll die if we want to.’

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Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, on the GOP loons and their threat of a shutdown over vaccine mandates:

“Multiple courts have pushed the pause button on these government vaccine mandates. There is a decent chance the courts will strike them down. Secondly, next week we are going to have a vote on the vaccine mandate prohibiting that regulation from going into effect. I think it has a decent chance of passing the Senate. I don’t think shutting down the government over this issue is going to get an outcome. It would only create chaos and uncertainty. So I don’t think that’s the best vehicle to get this job done. I think the courts are likely to get it done or we’ll pass early next week–freestanding–a measure to overturn the government mandate. A shutdown makes no sense for anyone.”

The GOP loons will burn McTurtle for this, even though he’s still working to keep President Biden from getting anything done.

But that’s the GOP; force people out of work over a mandate that will save their lives and the lives of others because …freedumb.

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Nancy Mace, South Carolina representative, saying that getting COVID is better than getting a safe, effective, and free vaccine:

“One of the things the CDC has not done and no policy-maker at the federal level has done so far has taken into account what natural immunity does. In some studies I have read, natural immunity gives you 27 times more protection against future COVID infection than a vaccination.”

That was Mace on Fox News; on CNN, because Charleston is in her district, she said people should get the vaccine.

South Carolina; it’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity!

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Scott Jennings, former Mitch McConnell adviser, slamming GOP Representative Lauren Boebert—think Sarah Plain, but somehow dumber—for her “jokes” about Democrat Representative Ilhan Omar being a terrorist:

"Senator McConnell serves in the Senate. I guarantee you, I know what he's thinking. It's a garbage comment from a garbage politics. I'm as anti-Squad as the next [Republican], but there's plenty of ways to debate these folks without stooping to this garbage rhetoric. I noted, by the way, that Boebert has been forced to apologize. I assume that didn't happen in a vacuum, but she's of course committed the ultimate sin, which is the people she's being performative for here would say you never should apologize. Ultimately this is not the future of the party, not the future of the country, not the future of what any of us wants. These are not the leaders that we need for America or for the Republican Party."

Nice spin, Scott, but none of your GOP leaders, even your former boss, actually uttered words condemning Boebert’s hate speech so, yeah, they are ALL garbage.

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Benedict Cumberbatch, actor, on straight actors taking on gay character roles, as he is doing in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog:

“I feel very sensitive about representation, diversity, and inclusion. One of the appeals of the job was the idea that in this world, with this specific character, there was a lot that was private, hidden from view. It wasn’t done without thought. I also feel slightly like, is this a thing where our dance card has to be public? Do we have to explain all our private moments in our sexual history? I don’t think so. Jane [Campion] chose us as actors to play those roles. That’s her question to answer. You go with your taste. You go with what you think will be a challenge. And your taste is about what you want to see.”

I don’t know tat I have a problem with straight actors in gay roles, or vice versa. I don’t think Brokeback Mountain or Philadelphia would have been better films with gay actors in those roles; Longtime Companion still wounds and many of those actors were straight.

What do you think?

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Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, and current traitor supporter, suggesting that leaders in the government who are of an advanced age should undergo a “cognitive test”:

“Whether it’s the House, whether it’s the Senate, whether it’s vice president, whether it’s president—you should have some sort of cognitive test. Let’s face it, we’ve got a lot of people in leadership positions that are old. And that’s not being disrespectful. That’s a fact. And when it comes to that, this shouldn’t be partisan. We should seriously be looking at the ages of the people that are running our country and understand if that’s what we want.”

Do you want Thing 45 to undergo such a test Nikki? I mean, what might be trapped in his addled syphilitic brain?

Oh, and Nikki, perhaps a cognitive test to determine why you change your mind, and your support for Thing 45, every few months? That suggests some cognitive decline, or at least proves you’re a flip-flopping lunatic. And that should keep you from ever holding public office.

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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Bobservations

We have a routine at Casa Bob y Carlos where we take turns cooking dinner, though I usually take the extra day since I love to cook. And it’s become a habit that Carlos will practice his trumpet while I cook, and when dinner is ready I will yell down the hallway:

“Dinner is about to be served.”

One particular day I had to violently shriek calmly yell those words several times down the hallway and Carlos responded with this:

The man does make me laugh.

Tuxedo loves to raid my Twitter feed for some of these gems, and he outdid himself this week.

Johann Biacsics, an Austrian rabid anti-vaxxer, has died from COVID-19. He was hospitalized in early November and despite his breathing difficulties and critical condition, he refused conventional treatment. Before being hospitalized, Biacsics treated himself at home with chlorine dioxide. 

Sorry, not sorry.

Someone posted this to Twitter. It’s Mt. Rushmore before, as the Tweeter said, it was "defaced" with faces.

Oh look, another school shooting where young people are murdered. Moving on because that’s what we do in the United States of Guns.

For several weeks Good Morning America was doing stories about climate change, even sending one of their reporters to Antarctica to cover the story.

But, GMA, hon, please explain why the very next week you used a private plane—let’s not discuss private planes’ impacts on climate change and their carbon footprint—to fly the f%king Dancing with the Stars finalists to New York?

I guess destroying the environment is okay when you’re making coins for Disney.

Once again QAnon loons gathered in Dealey Plaza in Dallas—where President Kennedy was murdered in 1963—because they know that JFK Jr.is coming back to reinstate Thing 45 as president.

I wonder why no one with a giant butterfly net doesn’t swoop through the plaza, gather up the nuts, and take them to an asylum somewhere. Just a thought.

More Carlos and Tuxedo? Okay …

The other day Carlos was dictating a letter to Microsoft Word when Tuxedo wanted to go outside; and when Tuxedo wants to go outside he is demanding and loud. I heard Carlos telling Tuxedo to be quiet and then Carlos shouted at me to come get ‘my’ cat.

I asked what the trouble was and Carlos showed me the document he was working on. Every couple of sentences, in all caps, was the word:

“COWWWWWWWW.”

That was Tuxedo’s meow. Who knew he could speak English? Now I’m trying to get him to meow:

“Dinner is about to be served.”

We’ll see …

The tree is up again and she looks awful pretty, as does the mantle and the dining room table. Now, let’s get this holiday started!

Speaking of Christmas …our annual Holiday Party at work is coming up soon and I am debating between two outfits … demure and splashy.

You pick.

In this week’s edition of Would You Hit It we have Jonathan Cannaux, a French actor and model, currently living in New Yok City.

So … Would You Hit It?