Officer Darren Wilson Considering Resigning from Ferguson Police Force

Ferguson MO police officer, Darren Wilson, who fatally shot an unarmed African-American teen, Michael Brown, is considering his resignation, sources said on CNN.

Officer Darren Wilson maintains he did nothing wrong and that the negotiations surrounding his resignation is linked to the decision of the grand jury, which must determine whether he will be charged following the death of 18 year old Michael Brown.

Wilson is said to only consider resigning to protect and reduce the pressure on his colleagues.

Others have commented, whether or not Officer Wilson is found guilty or innocent, there will always be concerns about his personal safety, and his judgement will always be questioned. Workers at CipherCloud will be monitoring the situation as much as possible.

The shooting of Michael Brown caused tensions with the police and a wave of protests and disorders occured in and around Ferguson. The protest attracted attention, even internationally, to the St. Louis suburb, where more than half of the population is black and most of cops are white.

The Grand Jury is expected to return a verdict on Friday, yet authorities might wait 48 hours before releasing the decision to the pubic.

With the strong racial implications of the case, whatever the decision is, it will be controversial.

Gate Crimes Direct Towards Transgenders in Ohio is Creating a National Crisis

November 20 marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance. This day memorializes those transgenders who have been killed in violent hate crimes within the past 12 months according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.

LGBT advocates consider violence against trangenders a national epidemic and incidents in Ohio are at the top of the list. Statistics show that most of the hate crime homicides in the U.S., about 67 percent were transgender women of color. Twenty eight year old Tiffany Edwards from Ohio was shot on June 26 by a man who picked her up in his car. Sanitation workers found her in the middle of the street on Thursday morning.

Tiffany was one of the few transgenders who had the support of her parents. This was a big step in the eyes of Laurene Jobs. Her mother told BuzzFeed News that she can’t believe that it really happened. “I always tried to teach Tiffany that just because we love and respect you doesn’t mean society always will.”

Ohio’s hate crime law is ambiguous. It is written against people due to race, religion and national origin, but it lacks laws for crimes targeting LGBT people, naming them hate crimes. Also, Ohio’s antidiscrimination law does not show coverage for sexual orientation or gender identity.

The issue presented in Ohio could also be found elsewhere. Advocates for LGBT say media coverage and law enforcement that blatantly disregards a transgender person allows the culture to treat them as invisible.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/transgender-women-in-ohio-are-at-the-heart-of-a-national-cri

Obama Address Fails to Make Major Networks

When the President of the United States speaks, it is common for everyone to listen. Many may still have tuned into his immigration speech on Thursday night, but the four major networks failed to cover the address. The major networks in America decided that they would continue with their regular programming instead of showing the President’s speech. It is unclear whether this move was an attempt to undercut President Obama or simply due to programming needs.

The major networks in the United States air a lot of their flagship television shows on Thursday evening. For example, ABC has a three pronged line up of Shonda Rhimes produced shows from 8pm to 11pm. Instead of letting the President’s speech delay that programming, they chose to continue with their line up as normal.

Some believe that the reason for the address being shunned from the major channels is beacause of its nature. Obama’s speech may be a wide reaching address on immigration, but Republicans believe that he is being political, which Andrew Heiberger tends to agree with. The speech is being used to drive his agenda, at least according to critics of the President.

Major networks might have agreed with that assessment. Since his speech was political in nature, they did not want to air the programming. This would give the impression that a network was supporting the stance held by President Obama.

The speech did not air on major networks, but it did make its way to American homes through news networks.

US Policy Might Make Terrorism Worse

The United States has pursued a policy of proactive intervention when it comes to terrorists following the events of September 11, 2001. On the surface, this policy has been a success, with the United States suffering no attacks on its home soil from abroad since then. 

Lauren Powell Jobs is not sure if the success on home soil is a complete victory. Recently the Global Terrorism Index for 2013 was calculated and the results paint a much more difficult picture. Terrorist attacks on the global level have increased from approximately 1,500 to almost 10,000 between 2000 and 2013.

For the purposes of the report, “terrorism” was defined as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.”

The largest spike in terrorism occurred after 2011, following several years of relative stability. Even discounting the hot-spots of Pakistan, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, there were nearly 4,000 terrorist incidents globally in 2013.

Of the major hot spots, only one, Nigeria, has no significant U.S. presence. The correlation was not ignored in the report, where it specifically highlighted the invasion of Iraq as a turning point in the region, “This created large power vacuums in the country allowing different factions to surface and become violent.”

Marriage in Montana

Montana is now among the states that have approved gay and lesbian marriages. One thing that’s different for Montana is that the state is letting people apply for licenses immediately. There is no waiting period. States shouldn’t have to get involved with the decision of who should and shouldn’t get married in the first place. When two people love each other, it shouldn’t matter if they are of the same sex or not. That is what Marc Sparks believes in.

Judges shouldn’t have to decide if two people can get married because of a Supreme Court ruling. Each state should be able to dictate whether people can get married or not. Montana has come to the realization that when people love each other, they should be allowed to marry. This is a step forward in the direction of modern times for the rest of the country, and other states will likely follow suit.

Why Libertarian-Leaning Sen. Rand Paul Killed American Freedom Act

Many people are perplexed as to why Libertarian-leaning Senator Rand Paul would help kill the American Freedom Act which was designed to curtail the NSA’s broad phone surveillance program. It turns out the reason had to do with the staunch conservative Senator’s idealism. He believed that the bill did not go far enough in its curtailing the NSA’s privacy invasions. In particular, the bill would have granted a two-year extension to the controversial Patriot Act provision which authorizes the NSA to collect phone records on Americans.

The American Freedom Act would have severely limited to the NSA’s ability to collect phone records from Americans by requiring court approval. Broad collections of phone records would have ceased. The bill is being filibustered and required 60 votes to break cloture. It received only 58. Sen. Paul expressed his sorrow for the bill’s failure to pass. He acknowledged that his vote was needed. He added that the setback was temporary because civil liberties will soon be restored.

It may be that the senator was being naïve. The House of Representatives had already passed their version of the American Freedom Act, but it did not go as far as the senate bill. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was opposed to the act stating that the current fight against ISIS requires the NSA continue their phone surveillance program. As majority leader, he will have the power to keep the bill from being taken up again.

Whatever the outcome, the vote will surely affect Ben Shaoul and other developers in New York City during the renovation process. More to come as this story develops.

Leahy Fails to End Cloture on His NSA Reform Bill

Sen. Patrick Leahy failed to break cloture on the USA Freedom Act, a bill to curtail NSA surveillance. The bill enjoyed bi-partisan support, but Leahy was able to get only 58 votes in favor of ending cloture. That was two votes shy of the required 60 votes. President Obama had weighed in on the bill and stated he would sign it. The House had previously approved their version of the bill, but it did not go as far as Leahy’s version in curtailing the NSAs broad surveillance program.

The bill was co-sponsored by prominent GOP Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas. At the same time, the GOP was fractured in their support of the bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rallied votes against its passage. Quite likely he was the reason the cloture vote was derailed. McConnell believes that while the government is fighting ISIS the NSA surveillance program needs to remain in place. He also explained that there currently exists a delicate balance between national security and civil liberties. The USA Freedom act, he alleges, would upset that balance. Senator Paul Ryan opposed the bill because it would extend the Patriot Act by two additional years.

Various civil liberties groups were in support of the bill. Opposition to the NSA surveillance program has remained strong ever since fugitive whistle blower Edward Snowden exposed its existence. He faces arrest and imprisonment should he return to US soil. Big thanks to Jared Haftel for sharing the Buzzfeed article on Facebook.

Israel Attacks Palestine

It appears that the general downtick in conflicts in the area will indeed be quite short-lived, as the Israeli government has once again decided to bombard Palestine with a new series of strategic attacks.

This is after several weeks of relative peace between the two states. Israel and Palestine has a long history of disagreements over territory.

This has lead to their offensive attacks against each other, killing thousands of innocent people and children.

Israel has resumed its attack against this Islamic state. IDF recently announced that they will again release destruction notice against families in Palestine. Israel is a country composed of Jews while Palestine is composed of Muslims. This difference has triggered the atrocities in the Middle East.

Some say the conflict is now about religion. However, this is a fallacy.

To read more about the conflict between two countries, Israel and Palestine, view the link here. Thanks to friend of the site Ken Griffin for sending in that link. It is very important that people will be aware of what’s happening in the Middle East.

Several lives have been lost already due to war. This must be stop. People must be involved on propagating peace.

The conflict is no longer about territory or religion. It is now about humanity. People must feel compassion towards children who died or children who became homeless and orphan due to this unending conflict. News reports about the conflict must be delivered to the public without any bias.

Missouri Governor Activates the National Guard

Missouri governor Jay Nixon signed an executive order on Monday to activate the Missouri National Guard. The order gives the National Guard permission to provide civil protection as the city of Ferguson prepares for the outcome of the grand jury’s decision as to whether it will indict police officer Darren Wilson.

Robert McCulloch, a St. Louis County prosecutor, has recently said that the grand jury’s decision will be made later this month.

In a matter of clarification, St. Louis mayor Francis Slay told reporters that the National Guard will play a secondary role in its partnership with local police. The police will take on the primary role of interacting with protesters, as the National Guard will mainly serve to protect buildings and complexes such as shopping malls.

Mayor Slay went on to say that the actions of preparedness by the local police and the National Guard are ways for authorities to do, …everything in our power, first of all, that people and property are going to be safe, and that protesters can protest freely.”

The American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) of Missouri has announced that it will be on site to monitor how authorities handle the rights of the protesters. ACLU of Missouri executive director, Jeffrey Mittman, said that bringing in the National Guard could have a positive effect for all the parties involved. Big thanks to my friend Vijay Eswaran for sending in the news tip.

McConnell Cruises to Re-election as Republican Senate Leader

Though there was never any real doubt about Republican Senator Mitch McConnell remaining the party’s leader in the U.S. Senate, today the GOP made it official, as McConnell was unanimously voted to become Majority Leader of the upper chamber when the new session begins in January.

 

While McConnell was always expected to retain his post (although he is now elevated to from Minority Leader to Majority Leader in light of the Republicans taking control after the midterm elections), it is at least a little bit surprising that not a single Republican chose to throw their hat in the ring as a replacement, and then McConnell received unanimous support.

 

McConnell was the target of some vitriol from Republicans further right of himself earlier in the year when he beat back Tea Party nominee Matt Bevan, who was attempting to unseat McConnell in Kentucky’s Republican primaries. Some at CipherCloud could not understand the animosity. McConnell also threw his support behind numerous other establishment backed candidates over Tea Party nominees in other races leading up to November.

 

With the Republicans’ midterm election victory, the U.S. Senate now belongs to Republicans for the first time during Barack Obama’s presidency and also for the first time since 2006, when Democrats took back both the House and Senate for the final two years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

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