Below are news items from February 2016. For more current and breaking news items, see the main news page.
Editorial note: 60 years for gun possession is a ridiculous amount of time. In November we mentioned how gun possession might be the new Jim Crow mass incarceration tool!
2-29-2016: Kenwood Academy parents outraged by apparent mock slave auction held by Barrington High School students
Editorial note: See; "Why White Cops Kill Black Men"
Editorial note: Chris Rock knocked it out the park. He was funny and made some excellent points including one that I made in my Oscar's Post. The boycott, however, had an effect; rating hit an 8 year low. Watch Chris Rock's opening monologue.
See related: What to do when car rental reservations aren't honored.
Editorial note: Police said evidence shows they acted in self defense.
Editorial note: See related article, "In 1927, Donald Trump’s father was arrested after a Klan riot in Queens". We posted a video on 2-18-2016 concerning the Trump/Pope controversy, that is related to this topic.
2-28-2016: See That Billboard? It May See You, Too
Editorial note: Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, which has tens of thousands of billboards across the United States, will announce that it has partnered with several companies, including AT&T, to track people’s travel patterns and behaviors through their mobile phones. Clear Channel now iHeartMedia is one of the companies mentioned on our Racial Bias in Mass Media page.
Editorial note: A 17 year old black teen, an immigrant from Kenya, was shot three times while holding a broom stick and is in a comma according to an update.
2-26-2016: Kansas Supreme Court rules criminal punishments for refusing sobriety tests are unconstitutional
Editorial note: Scroll down to 2-18 to view watch video that expresses similar sentiments regarding Trump underneath our editorial comments regarding the Pope questioning Trump's Christianity.
Editorial note: I'm not familiar with Australia's legal systems, but I can't figure out why it would have cost this man $71,000 when the story mentioned he represent himself, unless he later hired legal representation.
Editorial note: My family was affected by this same law. We lived in St. Louis county when I purchased our current city home in 2007. We rehabbed the house, but waiting until the semester was over to move in, so my sons could finish the school year where they were. I applied for acceptance for magnet school for my sons and was told they couldn't apply because they were non resident black students. I wrote a letter and mentioned a possible discrimination suit. My oldest son was granted an interview at a magnet high school and was accepted, my youngest son attended a neighborhood elementary school that was rated well at greatschool and had a decent DESE School Report Card, so I didn't pursue the matter any further, but the experience left a bad taste in my mouth. My youngest son was accepted to a magnet middle and high school. Also see, educational oppression
Editorial note: How the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) sets rates. Missouri utilities are granted a legal monopoly which protects them from competition. Ameren had revenue of $6 billion and posted net income (profit) of $586 million in 2014. Laclede Gas had revenue of $2 billion and net income (profit) of $137 million. Regulators are supposed to ensure that the price charged to consumers reflects nothing more and nothing less than the price paid by the utility to purchase the power on the wholesale market. The utilities make their profits through guaranteed rates of return on money invested in capital improvements, with returns anywhere from 8 to 10 percent “on shareholder equity” built into rates. Some say that outdated method of ensuring the financial viability of utility companies actually encourages unnecessary construction. The Wall Street Journal expounded on that theme in an April 20 article, headlined, “'Utilities’ Profit Recipe: Spend More.”
Editorial note: Within the last two years, there have been at least 767 overdose deaths in the St. Louis area.
Editorial note: Why does a private company need to provide this service instead of Division of Family Services employees. Seems like a scheme to put tax dollars in the hands of poverty pimps with political connections.
2-25-2016: How the rich control policymaking
Editorial note: Melissa Click was fired today. Attitudes about racial issues are amazing. To paraphrase what Dr. King stated in his, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail, "You deplore the actions of Melissa Click that took place on MU's campus. But your statements, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations." Ms. Click may have been a little too passionate, but at least she took a stand against what she believed was a wrong against another group of people. I wish she had been embraced and had more advocates speaking up for her, similar to the support Dr. Larycia Hawkins received. Maybe I missed it, but I at least expected more of the students and organizations that she stood up for to be more vocal. Many of those critical of Clark, even some black critics, wouldn't have lifted a finger to help those students, she did, and paid a huge price for her efforts. Now, some people who would have taken a stand or supported an idea or principle in the future will simply remain quiet.
2-25-2016: The American Civil Liberties Union plans to appeal a recent federal court ruling that citizens can sometimes be stopped from recording police officers on duty
2-25-2016: 5 teens cleared of Brooklyn gang rape charges, as prosecutors say woman’s father committed incest
Editorial note: It's bad enough that the father and daughter lied, but the teenage boys, ages 14-17 were the only real rape victims. Since the girl was 18 and consented, she committed statutory rape by having sex with underage boys.
Editorial note: There are 11 federal judicial districts, this decision came from the 9th district, St. Louis is within the 8th district. Decisions within a district are considered precedents only within the district the decision was handed down, however, it can be persuasive in other districts.
2-25-2016: L.A. is seizing tiny homes from the homeless
See related post about Oregon Terrorists
2-25-2016: Court rules Cleveland cop who sexted crime victims should get job back, drawing blistering dissent
2-24-2014: Death by privatization in US prisons
See private prison related, "The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation"
Editorial note: This has the potential to exclude those with criminal records, who may not be able to obtain a conceal and carry permit.
See related post, "A Dose of Heroin Reality"
Editorial note: Are state senators illegally limiting citizens from recording public meetings? That's the central issue in this case. See related story, Missouri Senate Should Allow Full Access and Videotaping, Progress Missouri Argues, "Progress Missouri's lawyer argued that the bottom line is, if the Senate allows some media but not others to record the proceedings, it influences public perception — and not in a good way."
2-23-2016: Missouri voters could decide on greater religious exemptions to same-sex marriage ceremonies
Editorial note: What we're talking about here is making discrimination against same sex couples legal. Once that door is opened it makes it easier to discriminate against the next group. See, "First They Came."
Editorial note: The Federal Government employs 2.7 million people, not including the military. As I read this story, I realized, I hear more stories about corrupt St. Louis City employees than Federal or State employees.
Editorial note: This case is not just about accessing a dead terrorist cell phone, it goes to one of our country's fourth amendment basic freedoms, to be free from unreasonable searches. Cell phones have become such a fundamental part of many people's lives, especially those of my sons generation and younger, who may not fully understand the implications of the contents of their cell phones. Understand the incredible privacy privileged that will fade away if a person cannot be secure in their cell phone date, the modern day equivalent of "papers and effects".
2-22-2016: Now taxi drivers—along with Uber, Lyft—would be exempt from city earnings tax under state bill
2-22-2016: Judge extends gun ban at St. Louis Zoo
Editorial note: Was a study necessary? We reached the same conclusions in our August 2015 post, "Is Bill Cosby a Rapist?
Editorial note: I don't agree with BLM tactic of excluding white people, but I understand their motivation. During the Civil Rights movement, local police, state governments and the FBI, conducted spy programs to discredit and disrupt organized activity. Since many of those spies were blacks being paid or coerced, limiting meetings by race won't prevent the organization from being infiltrated.
"The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone." – MLK
Note: Who the Angola Three were, is explained in the video below.
2-19-2016: Analysis: More guns, but fewer gun owners?
Editorial note: Racist white Americans more likely to own guns according to a published report.
2-19-2016: Edward Jones scraps naming rights on Dome
Editorial note: I've always respected and admired Dr. Carson's mother, who while on welfare, made sure her kids read books and turned in book reports, however, they didn't know she couldn't read. In his book, Carson, tells how his grades improved tremendously when a government program provided him with free eyeglasses because he could barely see. He also stated: “By the time I reached ninth grade, mother had made such strides that she received nothing but food stamps. She couldn’t have provided for us and kept up the house without that subsidy.” To now deny the aid to other is highly hypocritical. The children, who would be most affected, are innocent and deserve every chance possible. The aid you deny today, may be aid you need tomorrow. We give aid to able bodied millionaires and billionaires, especially stadium owners, all the time.
2-18-2016: Lawsuit alleges Foley fired police chief, officer for seeking ouster of alderman with felony record
Editorial note: See Narcan related post and video showing an actual overdose victim.
Editorial note: The first amendment right protects free speech, even speech that is offensive. Police officers have a right to free speech. However, the power of life and death is in the hands of police officers and indications of strong bias should be cause for concern. If that bias doesn't translate into negative actions, the officer shouldn't be penalized for expressing his constitutional rights. I imagine a large percentage of cops are bias, there's no legitimate way to weed that out. We should be most concerned with how a cop treats people instead of weather he likes certain groups of people. I'd much rather see officers disciplined for their wrong actions rather than their exercise of free speech, even offensive speech. There are plenty of videos on this website that some people would find offensive. If that police officer can't express his views, it's just a matter of time before you can't express yours. Keep in mind, there's another person expressing very negative and offensive views, and he might become the next president of the United States.
FYI: There is a misconception expressed in the video above about the first slave owner being black. Anthony Johnson, a black man, had a landmark legal decision in 1655 that resulted in the permanent enslavement of John Castor, another black man. However, slavery had already existed in the colonies since at least 1620. The picture used to depict Johnson, is actually Lewis Hayden, who escaped slavery and aided numerous other fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad.
Editorial note: How the Pope Francis might imagine the U.S. with Trump as president.
Editorial note: When the drug addicts being served were minority, poor or homeless, no funds allowed, but now that the fast growing demographic of addicts is white suburban kids, there's now a crisis? White lives matter!
2-17-2016: Faces and places of Black St. Louis
2-17-2016: Neighbors outraged by display featuring Confederate flag, African-American baby doll hung from noose
Editorial note: It's official, although, I'm certain it will pass, on the earnings tax ballot issue in April, I'm voting NO! The Rams only played eight games per year in the dome and we still owe millions on it and they want to tear it down. For what? Are groups falling over themselves to hold conventions in St. Louis. So now if major league soccer does come to St. Louis, they won't even have the dome to play in temporarily until they build a stadium of their own. Which friend with a demolition or construction company are city officials trying to make richer?
Editorial note: Why limit police body cameras to only five cities.
2-17-2016: Social-agency leaders, with nod of two police officials, urge Illinois to adopt a budget that restores services
2-16-2016: Bill Cosby Loses Appeal
Editorial Note: His appeal was lost because there was no proof of an agreement by the prosecutor. This is where extra knowledge of the law comes in handy. I'm surprised, Dr. Cosby didn't instruct his attorney to get that agreement in writing. Always get agreements in writing!
2-16-2016: Hackers Post Confidential Records of 4,000 Palm Beach County Cops, Prosecutors and Judges.
Editorial Note: Some brands promising 100 percent purity contained no Parmesan at all. How can a person that has contaminated the food supply for over 30 years face only one year in jail?
Editorial note: Although, China has no say in what a U.S. city street is named, the Federal Government appears highly hypocritical making a symbolic gesture concerning a person jailed in China when we have both the largest number of people in jail and the highest incarceration rate in the world! The U.S. has a population of 313 million and nearly 2.2 million prisoners, compared to China's 1.36 billion people and 1.5 million prisoners. Let's not forget, the U.S. executed a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Stanley Tookie Williams. Maybe Senator Cruz should work towards reducing mass incarceration here in the United States; that's right, Cruz represented a private prison developer while practicing law.
Editorial note: Taylor, Chairman of Enterprise Holdings, who sits on Wash. U's board of trustees, holds the majority stake in Centric Group, which oversees a network of prison service companies called Keefe Group. After the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's killing, protest were held outside of Enterprise Rent-A-Car's headquarter concerning prison profits. See our page concerning the private prison industry.
Editorial note: Having the same three judges constantly deal with the same prosecutors for gun crimes seems like a prescription for bias and possible corruption. The Missouri Supreme Court's recent ruling that Amendment 5 did not extend gun rights to nonviolent felons, makes this seems similar to what was expressed in: Federal Prosecution of Gun Crimes, The New Mass Incarceration Tool? Forgive me if I'm just a little skeptical that the prosecutors are concerned about social services for first time gun offenders.
See related post, "A Dose of Heroin Reality"
Editorial note: As W.E.B. Dubois stated, "all art is propaganda," and Kendrick Lamar's performance certainly lived up to that standard. Hip hop and rap had from the beginning established itself as socially conscious and forms of protest, before allegedly being corrupted by the music industry to fill private prisons.
2-15-2016: Young people work to survive, not play
2-15-2016: States lack funds to treat opioid addiction
2-15-2016: St. Louis earnings tax facing fresh scrutiny
Editorial note: As long as the city continues to give money to millionaires and billionaires, they're sending a mixed message.
2-13-2016: Portrait of a speed trap: Foley, Mo.
Editorial note: Scalia, a conservative appointed by Ronald Reagan, came under fire in December for race comments during affirmative action argument. Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev.), denounced Scalia when he stated; "It is deeply disturbing to hear a Supreme Court justice endorse racist ideas from the bench of the nation's highest court," … "The only difference between the ideas endorsed by [Donald] Trump and Scalia, is that Scalia has a robe and a lifetime appointment."
Editorial note: What a great concept, "dinner with dignity." No one, regardless of their circumstances, should be made to feel less than. Kudos to the organizers and volunteers of this program; it warms my heart to know about your efforts.
Editorial note: According to the CDC, African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV in the United States.
See related post, "Is Bill Cosby a Rapist?"
2-13-2016: Why St. Louis officials backed a County soccer complex, and what they hope to get from it
Editorial note: It's sad that those officers lost their lives while on duty and our sympathy goes out to their families. Our sympathy also goes out to the families of unarmed people killed by police. More unarmed people are killed, than police while on duty.
2-12-2016: White professor says Princeton cops treated her 'really nice' for same violation as Imani Perry
Editorial note: This video has been on our site for a while and provides a great visual that explains past injustices that still have a negative effect. This country has a history that includes slavery, Jim Crow and various other forms of oppression. Lessons that only includes positive past events or half truths is propaganda, not history. Watch the video below and judge for yourself.
Editorial note: A black female professor was pat-down, handcuffed and arrested because of an unpaid parking ticket.
2-11-2016: Detroit Police Sergeant Under Investigation After Comparing Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance To KKK
2-11-2016: How bad is the heroin problem in St. Louis and what can be done? Experts answer reader questions
2-11-2016: Illinois man will get $2.65 million for 10 years in prison for wrongful murder conviction
Editorial note: See Cleveland Sues Tamir Rice's Family for Ambulance Bill.
Editorial note: The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission will fund $14 million development.
Editorial note: See our related post and comments.
2-10-2016: ACLU slams Pasco police department
Editorial note: May a better idea would be to teach students about the legal system and how to navigate the court system so they will know how to competently represent themselves.
2-10-2016: Ameren to restart efficiency program
Editorial note: The timing seems suspect to me. Noranda, Ameren's largest customer filed bankruptcy and now a new charge will soon appear on everyone's electric bill. See 2-4-2016 on this page for earlier comments about Noranda.
Editorial note: Crime won't decrease, until oppression decreases. Until crime decreases, St. Louis will not be an attractive choice for many companies or organizations.
Editorial note: This prosecutor knowingly sent an innocent man to death row. That's attempted murder! That prosecutor should be behind bars, losing his law license is a light sentence compared to the 18 years in prison served by the innocent man.
2-9-2016: St. Louis County judge rules on claim of prosecutor's misconduct, but won't reveal decision
Editorial note: I have always been against the sex registry system. Once a person is convicted and serves their time, that should be the end of their punishment, otherwise their debt to society is never paid. In a few years, since we've opened the door on registry, will there be a shoplifting registry or a domestic assault registry? Some people are on the sex registry for having sex with women who eventually became their wife, examples include: Frank Rodriguez and Virgil McCranie . Children can also be labeled sex offenders for lift. An eleven year old was convicted of criminal sexual conduct for touching his sister's genitals, he was forced into foster care until 18 and over a decade later was still on the sex registry list. See the article, "You Might Be a Sex Offender and Not Even Know It!" Additionally, I suspect the prosecution of sex crimes may be disproportionately target towards black and brown men.
2-9-2016: Protesters are planning an anti-Beyoncé rally outside NFL Headquarters on Feb. 16 because of her Super Bowl performance
Editorial note: During the Super Bowl half time performance, Beyoncé's back-up dancers were dressed in all black, with black berets and afros similar to the way members of the Black Panther Party dressed in the 1960s. Some have commented that her performance was anti police and the protest organizer commented her performance contained “hate speech” and “racism” because of its references to the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter.
She released her "Formation" video the day before the Super Bowl which included references to Katrina and the Hands Up Don't Shoot movement. The Formation video below contains explicit language.
Editorial note: Crime won't decrease, until oppression decreases. Until crime decreases, St. Louis will not be an attractive choice for many companies or organizations.
Editorial note: This case is a great example why jury nullification is such an important right. Last year, 223 unarmed people were killed in the U.S. by police officers. Police in the U.S. kill more people in days than many other countries kill in years. In fact during the first twenty four days of 2015, U.S. police killed 59 people, in contrast to the 55 people killed in twenty four years by police in England and Wales. While St. Louis County is preaching reconciliation, better community relations and healing, it's unconscionable to prosecute this man for peacefully protesting unnecessary police violence. See Why White Cops Kill Black Men. I understand the prosecution of looters and arsonists; but peaceful protesters should have been given amnesty and this case should have dropped a long time ago. See St. Louis American article Praying While Black.
Editorial note: See our related post, St. Louis Stadium Corruption
2-8-2016: St. Louis County police lieutenant fired amid claim he worked security and police jobs at same time
Note: See related post, "Dr. Larycia Hawkins, a Christian, spoke out for Muslims"
Editorial note: We discussed how drugs addicts suddenly started being treated as patients verses criminal once increasing numbers of whites became addicted in a post about federal prosecution of gun crimes being the new Jim Crow.
Editorial note: You can appeal your property tax assessment. To find comps, enter your address in Zillow and filter for "recently sold." You can also use realtor.com to get an idea of what properties similar to your in your area are selling for. You should check your neighbors tax assessments against your own to see if your taxes are higher because they appealed and you didn't. (St. Louis City Assessor), (St. Louis County Assessor), (St. Charles Co. Assessor), (Jefferson County Assessor)
2-6-2016: White Supremacist Super Pac Backs Trump
Note: See recent post that included comments about the 2008 Kirkwood Shootings by Cookie Thornton.
Editorial note: we posted a warning about St. Louis City parking meters in July 2015.
2-5-2016: Black NYPD Cop Awarded $15 Million After False Arrest & Beating By Fellow Officers At His Home
Editorial note: Noranda may close and they are Ameren's largest customer, which at times consumes up to 10 percent of Ameren's electricity. Their closure could affect everyone's electric rate.
2-2-2016: Homeless students fight a daily battle
Intro: One of the nation's fastest-growing motorcycle clubs is composed largely of military, police officers and prison guards. It also embraces the regalia and traditions of outlaw biker gangs — a choice that has provoked deadly clashes with other groups.
2-2-2016: St. Louis seeks state support for NGA
Editorial note: This study defies common sense. At least 223 unarmed people died as a result of police action in 2015. Of those deaths, 106 were caused by gunshots (44 whites, 40 black, 19 Hispanic/Latino and 3 other races). Although blacks make up only 13.2% of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 47.6% of unarmed police gunshot were black victims. If it were true that police officers fired by mistake on unarmed white men three times more often than on blacks, doesn't it make sense that three times more white victims would be killed? If the three to one ratio was correct, 120 white unarmed people would have been shot by police, instead of the 44 who actually were . We don't need to rely on a simulated study, just use real data, the simulation is obviously flawed.
Editorial note: In November, we commented how addicts are now being treated differently since the fastest growing segment of addicts are white drug users.