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NEWS: Nazis, Mega Millions, Nick Cage, John Cage, God, Surveys, Science

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Road Armed neo-Nazis patroling Sanford, FL:

Neo-Nazis are currently conducting heavily armed patrols in and around Sanford, Florida and are "prepared" for violence in the case of a race riot. The patrols are to protect "white citizens in the area who are concerned for their safety" in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting last month, says Commander Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement. "We are not advocating any type of violence or attacks on anybody, but we are prepared for it," he says. "We are not the type of white people who are going to be walked all over."

Because nothing diffuses racial tension like gun-toting racial separatists patrolling an already on-edge community.

Road Some pro-equality activists don't like what other pro-equality activists do with their money.

Road A survey for your mothers. (HT: Joe.My.God.)

CageCage Road Only dubiously witty, but unexpectedly fun: Nicholas Cage does John Cage.

Road Apparently, Los Angeles isn't superficial, New York drives aren't that bad, and Miami isn't full of fit people.

Road PinkIsTheNewBlog has a pic of Zac Efron's bum.

Road Andrew Sullivan on America's bad religion:

"When I go and see young people, their image of Christianity these days is one of judgment, intolerance and to some extent bigotry and politics," Sullivan said. "They associate it with one political party in this country, because of the fusion of evangelical and ultra-orthodox Catholics with the Republican Party. They don't see it as the message of Jesus, they don't see it any more as a message of love and forgiveness. They see it as a bunch of people trying to control their lives through political mechanisms.

Road Gallup probes American religiosity:

... it’s no surprise that all of the “top” ten [religious] states are in the south save Utah and Oklahoma, which, as Abbie Smith will attest, may as well be in the south. It’s also no surprise that the least religious states are in New England, with the proportion of “very religious” being 23% in New Hampshire and Vermont, 25% in Maine, and 28% in Massachusetts ...

What did surprise me was the 32% of Americans who see themselves as “nonreligious" ... Since roughly 10% of Americans don’t believe in God, and only about 1.5% go so far as to describe themselves as “atheists” or “agnostics,” I wonder how many of these 32% of “nonreligious” Americans are secret atheists who just don’t like the label, or are unwilling to confess to an interviewer that—horrors!—they don’t believe in God.

Road Teen sells kidney for Apple products:

He received 220,000 yuan ($35,000) for the transplant, gave the student 22,000 yuan ($3,500) and shared the remaining money with the other defendants and several medical staff involved in the operation, Xinhua said.

When the student returned home, he was asked how he could afford a new iPhone and an iPad and he told his mother that he sold one of his kidneys

Road High up in Chile's Atacama desert -- at almost 17,000 feet above sea level, where heads ache, noses bleed, and "dizziness overcomes the researchers toiling in the shadow of the Licancabur volcano" -- scientists are turning Chile into one of the world's elite destinations for astronomical research. But for how long? From the Times:

At the same time, the financial crisis in rich industrialized countries has raised concerns that funding for some ambitious astronomy projects could face constraints. In the United States, a Congressional panel last year proposed killing NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope before a compromise spending plan saved the project.

“It would be very sad for humankind if we were so spiritually decadent to forgo the pleasures of consciousness and of knowledge,” said Mr. Mosterín, reflecting on the funding choices political leaders need to make. “These things make human beings a very interesting animal indeed.”


Madonna Visits Ultra Music Festival: VIDEO

MadonnaUltra

Madonna took a break last night from sparring with Russian homophobes to put in an apparently spontaneous appearance at Miami's Ultra Music Festival. She looked fantastic. She did no singing. She swore her lifelong fealty to electronic music and asked if everyone present had "seen Molly." (Madge's new album is called MDNA, and "Molly's" the street name for MDMA. Wit!) Then she introduced the DJ Avicii, and proceeded to dance to a remix of her own song. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Madonna Visits Ultra Music Festival: VIDEO" »


Miami Beach Cops Accused in Beating of Gay Man Want Jobs Back

Back in February 2010, I posted about Miami Beach police harassing and arresting a gay man after he witnessed them abusing a suspect. The gay man, Harold Strickland (pictured), was on the phone with 911 reporting their assault when the cops came after him. The ACLU filed suit against the Miami Beach police last November.

Strickland In late July, the two officers involved were fired and in early August, the ACLU settled its case with the City of Miami Beach.

Now, the two officers want their jobs back, the Miami Herald reports:

Frankly Forte and Eliut Hazzi filed grievances last week with the city, demanding they be reinstated with back pay. "The investigation was unfair and tainted with bias from the outset," both men wrote in city documents filed Aug. 17-18.

The officers take issue with the victim's account:

Sgt. Alejandro Bello, president of the city's police union, said Strickland's story of what happened that night is full of holes. He said Mendoza's mug shot shows that he had no injuries to his face. He also questioned Strickland's story that he wanted to see his old home and Mendoza's statements that he was searching for his dog's missing collar after a quick walk. Bello also said Miami Beach politicians influenced the officers' firings and noted that both Strickland and Mendoza have been arrested near Flamingo Park in the past and accused of involvement in illegal sex acts.

Ex-Beach cops accused in 2009 beating seek jobs back [miami herald]


ACLU Settles Case with Miami Beach Police Over Assault on Gay Man

Back in February 2010, I posted about Miami Beach police harassing and arresting a gay man after he witnessed them abusing a suspect. The gay man, Harold Strickland (pictured), was on the phone with 911 reporting their assault when the cops came after him. The ACLU filed suit against the Miami Beach police last November.

Strickland Last week the two officers involved in the incident were fired.

Yesterday, the ACLU reported that they had settled their case:

The settlement reached today requires the City of Miami Beach to pay Harold Strickland $75,000 which includes attorneys’ fees, as well as enact new policies regarding the reporting of police misconduct. The city will also implement specific trainings for new police officers addressing the harassment of gay men by police in and around Flamingo Park, as well as the rights of citizens to document police behavior.

***

Among the changes mandated by today’s settlement is the inclusion of new training language for Miami Beach police officers, including the following: “Improperly prohibiting or punishing a citizen from observing, documenting, or reporting a police officer’s conduct violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

“The most important thing to me since that night has been that someone had to be held responsible for what was happening in the city that used to be my home,” stated Strickland. “It’s sad that it took someone going through what happened to me for the city to start taking this problem seriously, but I’m hopeful that after today’s settlement it will never happen to anyone again.”

Previously...
Miami Beach Police Accused of Assaulting Gay Man to Be Fired [tr]


Miami Beach Police Accused of Assaulting Gay Man to Be Fired

Back in February 2010, I posted about Miami Beach police harassing and arresting a gay man after he witnessed them abusing a suspect. The gay man, Harold Strickland (pictured), was on the phone with 911 reporting their assault when the cops came after him. The ACLU filed suit against the Miami Beach police last November.

Strickland Now, the Miami Herald reports that the two officers involved are being fired:

Officers Frankly Forte and Eliut Hazzi learned Monday of the city’s intent to kick them off the police force and were relieved of duty without pay, according to City Manager Jorge Gonzalez. He said a hearing in which the officers will have a chance to fight for their jobs has been scheduled for Aug. 1.

***

After a nearly year-long investigation, prosecutors also declined to press charges against Hazzi and Forte, saying there was insufficient evidence to prove the officers’ guilt to a jury. Instead, they suggested Miami Beach police take “appropriate action.”

Miami Beach police issued a statement Monday saying that although the “investigation concluded that no crime could be proven in relation to the officers’ actions, serious questions were raised about their conduct during the incident.”

While the criminal investigation is closed, the ACLU case is still on. Strickland is seeking more than $15,000 in damages.

Said ACLU spokesman Derek Newton of the firing: “It’s a very satisfying outcome, assuredly, to demonstrate clearly that officers who violate the public trust and engage in misconduct will be subject to consequences. We think that’s very positive and encouraging. We hope that it sets a standard for other communities in the region and state in addressing police misconduct.”


News: Mark Ruffalo, Dolphins, Miami Beach, FAA

 road Wendy's new "natural cut" french fries aren't all that natural.

Mark  road Mark Ruffalo on his acting hiatus: "I was losing my love for it. So I said, ‘I’m done.’ I fired everybody and moved my family out here (Callicoon, NY). I had to make a radical move. The Kids Are Alright was my swan song. I didn’t know what I was doing next."

 road Report: Madonna has traded in Kabbalah for membership in the Opus Dei?

 road Natalie Portman's body double in Black Swan continues to claim that she did the majority of the dancing in the film.

 road The highlight of today's third-annual Miami Beach Gay Pride festival was its parade of dozens of long-term gay couples.

 road Fired male BBC editor accused of sexually harassing male colleague.

 road Nicolas Cage is arrested on domestic violence charges.

 road Hollywood promises at least two more installments of the James Bond franchise.

Pinkdolphins  road Pink dolphins in the Amazon are rivals to some fisherman in Brazil: "The fishermen see them as nettlesome competitors for the catches that feed their families."

 road Rainbow flags celebrating Pride Week at the University of Maine have been stolen. Student Affairs rep: "I think some people haven't found their voice so perhaps to show their unhappiness, their confusion, to make a statement they say well this is the only way to do it."

 road The FAA to change air traffic controllers’ work schedule rules within 72 hours after another controller is caught asleep on the job.

 road GLAAD steps in to make the games at a minor league hockey team more gay-friendly.


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