2 Sep 2014

Police Arrest Young Black Politician For Distributing Voting Rights Leaflets

The stars of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays movement took the stage on Labor Day at Charlotte’s Marshall Park to condemn the state’s record on voter suppression and racial profiling, and urge the community to organize and turn out at the polls this November. Just a few hundred feet away, police cuffed and arrested local LGBT activist and former State Senate candidate Ty Turner as he was putting voting rights information on parked cars.
“They said they would charge me for distributing literature,” Turner told ThinkProgress when he was released a few hours later. “I asked [the policeman] for the ordinance number [being violated], because they can’t put handcuffs on you if they cannot tell you why they’re detaining you. I said, ‘Show me where it’s illegal to do this.’ But he would not do it. The officer got mad and grabbed me. Then he told me that I was resisting arrest!”
Watch it:
There is a local ordinance prohibiting leafleting on cars. But according to local activist Casey Throneburg, who also filmed the arrest, it is almost never enforced, and “certainly not with handcuffs.”
Instead of transporting Turner directly to the Mecklenburg County jail, which sits just a few blocks from Marshall Park, he said they took him first to an empty parking lot behind the highway. “They took me to three different spots other than the jail,” he said. “They knew they were in the wrong.”
This happened as the Moral Mondays leaders lead a small but enthusiastic crowd in prayer, song and chants of “Forward together, not one step back!” and “Fired up, ready to vote!” When they learned what had happened to Turner, they urged the rally attendees to join them on a march to the jailhouse to demand his release. About 30 people did so, walking silently behind the clergy and friends of Turner.
On arrival, Deputy Brown at the front desk said Turner had not yet arrived, but when he did he would be fingerprinted and photographed before being released.
As the crowd waited, Reverend Dr. William Barber—the founder of Moral Mondays and President of the North Carolina NAACP—said the incident illustrated the urgent need to get out the vote in the African American community.
“Police are hired by police chiefs, who are hired by people that are elected,” he said. He then turned to Turner’s friends, who were crying. “I want you to be angry. Rosa Parks got angry and she changed the world. Take this incident and turn it into power. Anyone who says they’re upset about this profiling of black men, ask them if they’re registered to vote. That’s how we change this system.”
Dr. Barber added that Turner’s arrest reminded him of earlier, darker times in the American South. “The arrogance to come into our rally and think they can snatch up one of our boys and we’re going to be quiet about it! That day is so old we can’t even remember it.”

Other rally participants said they were reminded of more recent dark times, including thekilling of Jonathan Ferrell by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police last year. Ferrell, a 24 year old former college football player, was unarmed when police shot him 10 times.

Statutory rape victim forced to pay child support

Nick Olivas became a father at 14, a fact he wouldn't learn for eight years.
While in high school, Olivas had sex with a 20-year-old woman. As he sees it now, she took advantage of a lonely kid going through a rough patch at home.
State law says a child younger than 15 cannot consent with an adult under any circumstance, making Olivas a rape victim. But Olivas didn't press charges and says he didn't realize at the time that it was even something to consider.
The two went their separate ways. Olivas, now 24 and living in Phoenix, graduated from high school, went to college and became a medical assistant.
Then two years ago, the state served him with papers demanding child support. That's how he found out he had a then-6-year-old daughter. 
"It was a shock," he said. "I was living my life and enjoying being young. To find out you have a 6-year-old? It's unexplainable. It freaked me out."
He said he panicked, ignored the legal documents and never got the required paternity test. The state eventually tracked him down.
Olivas said he now owes about $15,000 in back child support and medical bills going back to the child's birth, plus 10 percent interest. The state seized money from his bank account and is now garnisheeing his wages at $380 a month.
FEAR AND FRUSTRATION
He has become one of the state's 153,000 active child-support cases, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security division of Child Support Services.
In May alone, payments were not made in 49 percent of those cases, according to the agency.
Olivas' fear has turned to frustration.
He wants to be in his daughter's life and is willing to pay child support going forward. But he doesn't think it's right for the state to charge him for fees incurred when he was still a child himself or for the years he didn't know the girl existed.
"Anything I do as an adult, I should be responsible for," he said. "But as a teenager? I don't think so."
Situations such as Olivas' are rare, according to fathers-rights advocates. But cases in several states have garnered attention. And while there has been some public outcry over charging a crime victim with child support, the courts have consistently said states have every right to do so.

McDonald's, Wendy's and other fast-food restaurants are expected to be targeted with acts of civil disobedience that could lead to arrests Thursday as labor organizers escalate their campaign to unionize the industry's workers

McDonald's, Wendy's and other fast-food restaurants are expected to be targeted with acts of civil disobedience that could lead to arrests Thursday as labor organizers escalate their campaign to unionize the industry's workers.
Kendall Fells, an organizing director for Fast Food Forward, said workers in a couple of dozen cities were trained to peacefully engage in civil disobedience ahead of this week's planned protests.
Fells declined to say what exactly is in store for the protests in around 150 U.S. cities. But workers involved in the movement recently cited sit-ins as an example of strategies they could use to intensify their push for higher pay and unionization. Past protests have targeted a couple of restaurants in each city for a limited time, in many cases posing little disruption to operations.
A spokesman for the Service Employees International Union, which has been spearheading the protests, said home health care aides will join the actions in some locations.
The "Fight for $15" campaign has gained national attention at a time when growing income disparities have become a hot political issue. President Barack Obama renewed his push for Congress to raise the minimum wage at a Labor Day appearance in Milwaukee.
Many fast-food workers do not make much more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That equates to around $15,000 a year for 40 hours a week. But workers are often subject to unpredictable schedules and don't know how many hours they'll be given from week to week, since restaurants are careful to avoid paying overtime.
The fast-food campaign is designed to bring attention to such hardships, which few customers think about when buying burgers and fries, said Catherine Fisk, a professor of labor law at the University of California in Irvine. Over time, she said that could help "change the mindset" about fast-food jobs, which have historically been seen as difficult to unionize.
"The goal is to persuade workers that it doesn't have to be this way. The goal is to persuade consumers that it doesn't have to be this way," she said. "This is about getting attention to the issue."
Fisk noted that mining and manufacturing jobs were also once considered low-wage jobs with dim prospects. That changed in the 1930s, however, after legal protections for unionizing and actions by fed-up workers helped transform the jobs into more middle-class professions.

Transgender teen sues South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles after being denied his driver's license unless he removed his makeup for his photo

A lawsuit will be filed Tuesday on behalf of an Upstate teen who was forced to take off his makeup for a driver’s license picture, despite the fact he lives in girl’s clothing and makeup every day.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund will hold a news conference on the south steps of the South Carolina State House to announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles on behalf of a 16-year-old Chase Culpepper.
Culpepper considers himself gender non-conforming.

Culpepper says on March 3 he went to the DMV office in Anderson with his mother to get his driver’s license. He said he had already passed the test and was told he could not have his picture taken while wearing make-up because he did not look the way a boy should.
He said, "It was wrong to be taken aside and told how I look doesn't fit with traditional gender roles and how I look is not even good enough to take a driver's license picture taken. And unfortunately, a lot of people like me have to go through this."

Culpepper’s mother, Teresa, said, "They said he was wearing a disguise. It was very hurtful. He was absolutely devastated. That’s who he is 24/7.”

Beth Parks with DMV said the employees at the Anderson DMV followed policy. She said in August 2009 the policy was updated to say, "At no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity."
Culpepper said he ultimately removed his make-up so he could get his picture taken.


Read more: http://www.wyff4.com/news/suit-filed-on-behalf-of-teen-forced-by-dmw-to-remove-makeup/27825322

Creepy Food That Will Freak You Out (32 pics)

This food is pretty disturbing. All of it has been transformed into something grotesque and disgusting. It doesn't matter how hungry you are, this food will ruin your appetite.
































Animals You Didn't Know Were In The Military (11 pics)












1 Sep 2014

Bad History: Another Ala. Official Thinks The Constitution Is Based On The Ten Commandments

An Alabama official wants to display the Ten Commandments outside a county courthouse, and he thinks he can justify the location of said monument by arguing that the famous list of biblical laws simply isn’t religious.
Instead, said Jackson County Commissioner Tim Guffey (R), he just wants people to know the supposed basis behind America’s most famous documents.
“If you look at the documents that was written (sic) – the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence – they are all stemmed from the word of God, from the Ten Commandments,” Guffey said last week in an interview with WHNT, the CBS affiliate in Huntsville.
In a separate interview with the news website AL.com, Guffey added that he’s “not going to push religion at all” with his proposed monument and thinks the Decalogue display would teach students the real story behind the founding of America.
“They don’t teach this at school anymore, and a person would have to go back and research and study each one of those men’s writings to find out that that’s what established them,” he said. “That’s what gave [the Founding Fathers] the inspiration to read the greatest Constitution this world has ever seen.”
Of course Guffey is off base all around. The U.S. Constitution makes zero mention of Jesus, God or any other religious deity. It also bears little resemblance to the Ten Commandments, which indisputably come from the Bible, an indisputably religious text. After all, U.S. law does not forbid adultery, nor can one be punished for failing to remember the Sabbath.
While it is rightfully illegal to murder, steal and in some cases lie, those are basic ideas that predate the inception of Judaism, Christianity and most other religions.    
Yes, the Declaration of Independence does mention God and rights that come from a creator. But what does that have to do with the Ten Commandments? And the fact that such language was left out of the Constitution, which is a governing document – unlike the Declaration – says that the Founding Fathers didn’t intend to base the United States on religious law.
It’s also incredibly delusional for Guffey to think that the Ten Commandments aren’t religious, adding him to a long line of fundamentalists who have argued that Christian symbols or concepts don’t really have anything to do with faith. If the Ten Commandments aren’t religious, then what are they? Guffey of course hasn’t said.

Wage Theft is on the Rise in America (

Week after week, Guadalupe Rangel worked seven days straight, sometimes 11 hours a day, unloading dining room sets, trampolines, television stands and other imports from Asia that would soon be shipped to Walmart stores.

Even though he often clocked 70 hours a week at the Schneider warehouse here, he was never paid time-and-a-half overtime, he said. And now, having joined a lawsuit involving hundreds of warehouse workers, Mr. Rangel stands to receive more than $20,000 in back pay as part of a recent $21 million legal settlement with Schneider, a national trucking company.

“Sometimes I’d work 60, even 90 days in a row,” said Mr. Rangel, a soft-spoken immigrant from Mexico. “They never paid overtime.” 

The lawsuit is part of a flood of recent cases — brought in California and across the nation — that accuse employers of violating minimum wage and overtime laws, erasing work hours and wrongfully taking employees’ tips. Worker advocates call these practices “wage theft,” insisting it has become far too prevalent.

Some federal and state officials agree. They assert that more companies are violating wage laws than ever before, pointing to the record number of enforcement actions they have pursued. They complain that more employers — perhaps motivated by fierce competition or a desire for higher profits — are flouting wage laws.

Many business groups counter that government officials have drummed up a flurry of wage enforcement actions, largely to score points with union allies. If anything, employers have become more scrupulous in complying with wage laws, the groups say, in response to the much publicized lawsuits about so-called off-the-clock work that were filed against Walmart and other large companies a decade ago.

Here in California, a federal appeals court ruled last week that FedEx had in effect committed wage theft by insisting that its drivers were independent contractors rather than employees. FedEx orders many drivers to work 10 hours a day, but does not pay them overtime, which is required only for employees. FedEx said it planned to appeal.

Julie Su, the state labor commissioner, recently ordered a janitorial company in Fremont to pay $332,675 in back pay and penalties to 41 workers who cleaned 17 supermarkets. She found that the company forced employees to sign blank time sheets, which it then used to record inaccurate, minimal hours of work. 

David Weil, the director of the federal Labor Department’s wage and hour division, says wage theft is surging because of underlying changes in the nation’s business structure. The increased use of franchise operators, subcontractors and temp agencies leads to more employers being squeezed on costs and more cutting corners, he said. A result, he added, is that the companies on top can deny any knowledge of wage violations.

“We have a change in the structure of work that is then compounded by a falling level of what is viewed as acceptable in the workplace in terms of how you treat people and how you regard the law,” Mr. Weil said.

His agency has uncovered nearly $1 billion in illegally unpaid wages since 2010. He noted that the victimized workers were disproportionately immigrants.

Guadalupe Salazar, a cashier at a McDonald’s in Oakland, complained that her paychecks repeatedly missed a few hours of work time and overtime pay. Frustrated about this, she has joined one of seven lawsuits against McDonald’s and several of its franchise operators, asserting that workers were cheated out of overtime, had hours erased from timecards and had to work off the clock.

“Basically every time that I worked overtime, it didn’t show up in my paycheck,” Ms. Salazar said. “This is time that I would rather be with my family, and they just take it away.”



Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/business/more-workers-are-claiming-wage-theft.html

Middle Earth fineliner drawing by KarinAela

Ocean detail
After an hour or so into this I started to think I should have gone with something simpler....
More ocean detail
Added a little ship leaving the Grey Havens.
Finished ocean detail
The ocean took about 10 hours altogether.
The Shire
Rivendell

The Misty Mountains

Minas Tirith
Mordor
Finished drawing
And here it is finished! Took about 30 hours in total