Veterans? Corey Dickstein (STARS AND STRIPES) reports on one:
The man arrested last month with multiple firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition near the Washington, D.C., home of former President Barack Obama was a Navy veteran who served in combat in Iraq, the service said Friday.
Taylor Franklin Taranto, 37, served in the sea service from 2004 to 2010 and earned a Combat Action Ribbon while serving on a deployment to Iraq, Navy records show. The Combat Action Ribbon is awarded to Marines, sailors and Coast Guard members "who have actively participated in ground or surface combat,” according to the services.
Taranto, who is from Washington state, was captured by Washington Metropolitan police June 29 in the neighborhood where the former president and his wife, Michelle, live. The veteran was arrested after Secret Service agents observed him walking near a restricted area close to the Obama's home, according to federal prosecutors. A search of the van in which Taranto had been living and parked near the Obama’s home turned up at least two firearms, a machete, “hundreds of rounds of nine-millimeter ammunition,” and bomb-making materials, according to court documents.
This is the veteran who supposedly reacted above as a result of Donald Trump posting Barack Obama's address on social media. They are saying Donald's social media post was the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a raging fire. No idea if that's accurate or not. But all that fire power? Reminded me of "Celebrity Burnout" in John Waters' CRACKPOT:
A woman I know from my many summers in Provincetown walked into a restaurant in this eccentric beach community and, according to the CAPE COD TIMES, "demanded a drink." When told the lounge wouldn't open until later in the day, she allegedly pulled out a loaded twelve-gauge double-barreled shotgun and threw down a wad of money. She also happened to have with her a "hunting knife" and a "powerful compound bow with three razor-tipped arrows." She was carrying "$7,000 in cash" (think of the tip!) and "100 grams of cocaine." Talk about Rambo! "Did she have a shopping cart to carry all the weapons" friends wondered, trying to cut the conversation short so they could rush to photocopy the article while it was still hot. When this rather aggressive customer was finally released on bail from jail, she reappeared at all the local fashionable watering holes, and no one dared mention the incident. "Are you kidding?" commented a friend who had barred her in the past from his restaurant. "She might have a cannon!" Suddenly the whole town had newfound respect for this reluctant newsmaker. And you can be sure she can count on tip-top service in the future. Buy the lady a drink, for God's sake!
Yes, it's John Waters' the director of such classics as PINK FLAMINGOS, HAIRSPRAY, SERIAL MOM and CRY BABY, FEMALE TROUBLE and CECILE B. DEMENTED. Dennis Perkins (PORTLAND PRESS HERALD) interviewed John a few weeks ago (John's touring with his one-man show THE END OF THE WORLD) and here's an excerpt:
Not to get too political, but with the hysteria surrounding sex and gender right now, is it worse than it ever was, or is it just louder?
John Waters: It’s really gonna help, just like Anita Bryant helped with gay rights. Because she came out, bitched about everything, just like they’re doing now, and everybody banded together, got more militant, stronger, and her career was over. Same thing’s gonna happen here. I built a career on people hating me, on bad reviews. I wish my books (“Carsick,” “Mr. Know-It-All,” “Role Models,” and his recently published first novel “Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance”) were banned. Then they wouldn’t be back in the Gay section near the bathroom, they’d be up front in the banned books section next to the cash register.
Speaking of “Liarmouth,” there have been rumors that it’s going to be your first movie in 19 years (since 2004’s “A Dirty Shame.”)
John Waters: Well, I can’t really talk about it because of the writers’ strike, but the book was optioned for me to write it as a screenplay. And I have to end it there because of the strike.
Let's hope John's right about the pushback (I believe he is and I've noted that these hate merchants have overplayed their hands). On this topic, we're going to note Africa. I don't usually do that. I don't really feel it's my business to comment on weigh in. "Wouldn't they like their peace, don't we get bored?" as Joni Mitchell sings. But this is something that actually does involve the US as Caroline Kimeu (GUARDIAN) explains:
A group of human rights organisations in Africa renewed their calls this week for the American multinational Intel Corporation to dismiss a senior employee over his alleged involvement in fanning the growing anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment in several countries, including Kenya and Uganda.
In a change.org petition, supported by more than a dozen organisations, the rights groups claim that Greg Slater, Intel’s vice-president of global regulatory affairs, has been “actively responsible for exporting, financing, and spreading hate, homophobia” on the continent for decades, through the American conservative organisation, Family Watch International.
The activists accuse Family Watch International, which is run by Slater’s wife, Sharon, of lobbying high-ranking African leaders and lawmakers to block LGBTQ rights – allegations that have dogged the Slaters for years. The organisation is described as a “hate group” by the US civil rights group Southern Poverty Law Center.
Sharon Slater is a hate merchants with links to Moms For Liberty -- another hate group. She should have been expelled from Africa some time ago. Cara Anna (AP) reported earlier this month:
Efforts to legalize and make abortions safer in Africa were shaken when the U.S. Supreme Court
ended the national right to an abortion a year ago. Within days, Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio declared that his government would decriminalize abortion “at a time when sexual and reproductive health rights for women are being either overturned or threatened.”But some U.S.-based organizations active in Africa were emboldened, especially in largely Christian countries. One is Family Watch International, a nonprofit Christian conservative organization whose anti-LGBTQ+ stance, anti-abortion activities and “intense focus on Africa” led to its designation as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In April, Family Watch International helped to develop a “family values and sovereignty” meeting at Uganda’s presidential offices with lawmakers and other delegates from more than 20 African countries. The organization's Africa director also is advocating for his country, Ethiopia, to revoke a 2005 law that expanded abortion access and dramatically reduced maternal mortality.
“It’s kind of like the gloves are off,” Sarah Shaw, head of advocacy at U.K.-based MSI Reproductive Choices, an international provider of reproductive health services, said in an interview.
In a September speech to the African Bar Association, the president of Family Watch International, Sharon Slater, alleged that donor countries were attempting a “sexual social recolonization of Africa" by smuggling in legal abortion along with sex education and LGBTQ+ rights.“Sexual rights activists know if they can capture the hearts and minds of Africa’s children and indoctrinate and sexualize them, they will capture the future lawyers, teachers, judges, politicians, presidents, vice presidents and more, and thus they will capture the very heart of Africa,” Slater claimed.
Again, she needs to be expelled from Africa. She is a US citizen, she needs to stop meddling in their affairs. I am so sick of these people who cannot just shut the f**k up about what people in their own countries should be doing.
She's not a Christian, she's a hate merchant. If there's a hell, she'll rot there due to her desire to pervert the teachings of Christ to back up her own bias and hatred.
Naomi Wolf just gets crazier. I almost picked up the phone to call her but I don't want anything to do with her. I read an e-mail to the public account (email@example.com) where she's now not just transphobic but also homophobic as well. She's nuts and she's just another hate merchant. I think I'm going to really enjoy Naomi Klein's book when it comes out shortly -- about all these crazy grifters -- including "Dr" Naomi Wolf. And let me repeat, she needs to be stripped of the doctorate. Her 'doctoral thesis was turned into her book OUTRAGES.
You read that book, right?
No, you didn't. Because it got pulped. While promoting it, an interviewer confronted her with the reality that she had misinterpreted wording in British government documents. Her book was not released here. Oxford needs to pull her doctorate and they need to explain how their doctorial committee didn't catch the mistakes and errors in her research? Again, the books the same as the thesis that saw her awarded a doctorate. Shoddy scholarship. She needs to lose her doctorate because she didn't actually earn it and her thesis is riddled with one error after another which, yes, does undermine the central argument of the thesis.
We'll wind down with this from The National Trial Lawyers:
Two whistleblowers have announced that a 12-year litigation with KBR Services has been settled for $108.75 million, the largest cash settlement ever obtained in connection with alleged Iraq War fraud. Filed under the “qui tam” provisions of the False Claims Act, the lawsuit by former KBR employees Geoffrey Howard and Zella Hemphill Anderson alleged KBR defrauded the United States Army in connection with KBR’s contract to supply troops in the War with property and materials. Despite widespread reports of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse over the course of the War, no other case has successfully recovered such a substantial sum for alleged fraud.
The lawsuit alleges that KBR defrauded the Army under the multi-billion dollar LOGCAP III contract when it routinely ordered new materials when excess quantities of the same items were sitting in KBR warehouses in Iraq. The case cites extensive evidence that KBR routinely lied to the Army, certifying that it had checked for excess material before ordering anew. According to the whistleblowers, KBR was indifferent to this massive waste because the Army reimbursed KBR for all these unnecessary costs, plus profit. The fraud was related to “cross-leveling,” a LOGCAP requirement that before buying new material, KBR had to check within the theater to see if excess of that same material was in-country.
The whistleblowers’ evidence as laid out in their lawsuit showed that KBR fraudulently manipulated its inventory management system such that vast amounts of material in inventory were “invisible” to anyone trying to cross-level. For example, KBR was allegedly ordering new electrical wire when it had up to 65 years’ worth of inventory of such wire on hand. There was enough stock of four other items to last 32.9 years, 15.6 years, 13.0 years, and 12.7 years. This practice resulted in massive amounts of excess material paid for by U.S. taxpayers, much of which was turned over to the Government of Iraq or abandoned at the end of the War. The whistleblowers’ internal complaints to the company were routinely ignored, according to the complaint.
The following sites updated: