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Racism: ‘Go Back To Kenya’ Says Romney Supporter, With Empty Chair, Watermelons, Noose

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A Mitt Romney supporter has decided to express his disdain for President Obama with blatant racism. Morgan Hill, California resident Blake la Beck placed an empty chair atop his front yard fence, then added two watermelons and a noose, with a sign fashioned to look like a teleprompter, reading, “Go Back To Kenya you idiot” nearby, to show his hatred of President Obama and his support for Mitt Romney. There’s a pro-Romney sign just feet away.

Susan Shirley, also of Morgan Hill, was so upset, she took the above photo and posted it to Facebook with this comment:

Sorry to bum you out on a Sunday, but blatant racism thrives in my beautiful town of Morgan Hill, Ca. Driving down a road between Morgan Hill and San Martin, we spotted some Romney signs, then a chair. Amusing. Then we noticed the watermelons on the chair. Disgusting. Finally we noticed the noose hanging over the side of the chair. Horrifying. Freedom of speech? Absolutely. Freedom for people to share this picture with everyone they know to point out the ominous side of the conservative party-PLEASE.

Writing of the racist exhibit, Greg Mitchell at The Nation says “this is not to say that most Romney backers are out and out racists. But it would be nice if the media, belatedly, explored the remaining strength of Birtherism—and what it reveals. Mitchell has a few more thoughts:

Despite the blatant racism on display at various Birther and Tea Party rallies—at protests embraced by many in the GOP and Fox News—we have often been told that the numbers of such adherents is very, very low. Or even, that racism is dead in America since, as Will Cain of The Blaze told Bill Maher last Friday with a straight face, the US elected a black president.

On the other hand, how do you explain that Birtherism was never a “fringe” faction within the GOP? In fact, all manner of polls have shown that actually at least half of Republicans embrace or once embraced the meme that Obama was not born in America. The latest poll I saw still pegged that “fringe” at an unhealthy 40 percent of all Republicans.

One of the great mainstream media fails of the past two years, right up to the GOP convention, was ignoring Birtherism as a near-majority view in the modern GOP—and refusing to probe what that means.

The Huffington Post adds:

California’s KTVU reports that the display was first brought to their attention by a community resident who posted an image of the arrangement to Facebook. The station has since interviewed property owner Blake la Beck, who declined to comment, but claimed the display speaks for itself.

The controversial spectacle resembles similar ones put up last month. In both Texasand Virginia, homeowners “lynched” empty chairs in their front yards alongside anti-Obama messages, drawing criticism and calls of racism from their communities.

Racist rhetoric has also emerged this election season in more direct attacks on the Obama campaign. Last week, a vandal spray-painted the words “Muslim Lier”(intended to be “Liar”) on a large banner outside a campaign office in Des Moines, Iowa.

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'BRUTAL'

Russia is torturing civilians in camps around eastern Ukraine

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The Russian military has established 10 torture sites in the eastern city of Izium, Ukraine, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Torture is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Eight men died killed under torture in Russian custody, the AP wrote. All but one were civilians.

Russian forces captured Andriy Kotsar, tied him up, and threw him for several days in a trench covered with wooden boards. They beat his legs and arms and smashed his knees with a hammer. They then took his ID and passport so that he would find it hard to prove his identity, get help, or escape.

Russian forces captured him two more times after that. The torture was worse both times, Kotsar said.

“Russian torture in Izium was arbitrary, widespread, and absolutely routine for both civilians and soldiers throughout the city,” the Associated Press investigation found. The torture included waterboarding and electrocution, among other pain-inducing methods.

Mykola Mosyaky, a 38-year-old Ukrainian soldier, was handcuffed, thrown in a pit of dirty water, and hung by the wrists until his skin went numb.

“They beat me with sticks. They hit me with their hands, they kicked me, they put out cigarettes on me, they pressed matches on me,” he stated. “They said, ‘Dance,’ but I did not dance. So they shot my feet.”

Dr. Yuriy Kuznetsov, an emergency room physician in Izium, said that Ukrainians are showing up to his hospital with torture-related injuries, including “gunshots to their hands and feet, broken bones and severe bruising, and burns.” The victims never say how they got their injuries, worried about retaliation if they do.

A father and son who were both tortured said they could hear women’s screams every night as Russian soldiers raped them in a nearby garage.

Russians showed one local woman the body of her battered, unconscious soldier husband, pressuring her to provide information that she knew nothing about.

At least 30 bodies taken from a mass grave in the city showed “visible marks of torture,” including “bound hands, close gunshot wounds, knife wounds, and broken limbs.”

“[Torture] serves three purposes,” said Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch. “Torture came with questions to coerce information, but it is also to punish and to sow fear. It is to send a chilling message to everyone else.”

On September 30,  Russia held sham referendums in the eastern Ukrainian territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson. While the referendums sought to cede the territories to Russia, their outcomes were pre-determined by Russia as a way to basically lay claim to the territories.

The U.S. called the referendums illegal and also authorized an additional $12 billion in military aid to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said of the referendums, “Recently, someone somewhere held pseudo-referendums, and when the Ukrainian flag is returned, no one remembers the Russian farce with some pieces of paper and some annexations. Except, of course, law enforcement agencies of Ukraine. Because everyone who is involved in any elements of aggression against our state will be accountable for it. And I thank everyone who brings these moments of victory closer, who returns the Ukrainian flag to its rightful place on Ukrainian land.”

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'APPARENTLY INEBRIATED'

Supreme Court refuses to protect Mike Lindell from a billion dollar defamation lawsuit

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The Supreme Court just started its new term, and among its first act, it refused to hear an appeal from Mike Lindell — the conspiracy theorist, supporter of former President Donald Trump, and MyPillow CEO — who wanted the court to throw out a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against him.

The lawsuit was filed by Dominion Voting Systems, a manufacturer of voting machines, to litigate against Lindell for his repeated claims that their machinery played a role in “stealing” the 2020 election from Trump. He made his claims on Fox News and various media and social media outlets.

In response to Dominion’s lawsuit, Lindell filed a countersuit accusing the voting machine company of using the court system to “silence Lindell’s and others’ political speech about election fraud and the role of electronic voting machines in it.”

His countersuit also accused the company of “waging lawsuit warfare on private citizens…under the auspices of ‘defending election integrity’…[rather than] fixing their notoriously and demonstrably insecure voting machines.” The lawsuit said the company had “embarked on a concerted, collective enterprise to extort silence from their dissenters or bring financial ruin on any and all who persist in speaking their minds.”

In August 2021, Lindell held a public “cyber symposium” which, he said, would show undeniable proof about how voting machines helped steal the 2020 election.

Rob Graham, a cyber expert who attended the symposium, said, “[Lindell] gave us experts NOTHING today, except random garbage that wastes our time.” Graham said the Lindell had promised to give cyber experts who attended the symposium “packet captures from the November 2020 election could be unencrypted to reveal evidence of voter fraud.” Graham said those packets were never provided.

Fox News refused to run advertisements about the symposium. Lindell was accused of using the symposium as nothing more than to try and maintain relevance and continue the narrative about the “stolen election.”

Several months after the 2020 election, Lindell claimed that Trump would return as president by August. 2021 Lindell said this would occur either through Supreme Court rulings or “two other bonus pathways” involving vote audits in states that Trump lost in 2020.

Lindell said that once the Supreme Court considers his evidence of voter fraud, the justices will unanimously rule 9-0 in favor of allowing Trump to become president once again.

Lindell was wrong.

 

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Matt Gaetz demands hurricane aid for Florida after voting against it

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Last week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)  voted against a government funding measure that contained $18.8 billion in federal disaster aid for natural disasters, including Hurricane Ian, which just ravaged his home state. Gaetz was one of 15 Florida lawmakers who voted against it.

On Sunday, Gaetz went to Twitter to ask for government assistance for “my fellow Florida Man in grave need of assistance.” His tweet said, “Just send us like half of what you sent Ukraine,” a reference to the money that the U.S. has donated to help Ukraine fight off Russia’s ongoing invasion.

Various Twitter users called him a hypocrite for his tweet, but his key audience is likely people who don’t know about his vote or those who oppose the United States’ involvement in a foreign conflict, even if checking Russia’s aggression helps aid U.S. interests in Europe.

The continuing resolution that Gaetz voted against made money available from Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund for states dealing with costly natural disasters. It also contained $12 billion to aid Ukraine. Both of Florida’s Republican senators, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, also didn’t vote in favor of the resolution.

On his podcast last Friday, Gaetz said Democrats had rammed the resolution without going through the committee process, effectively cutting out Republicans from being able to add or remove funding from it.

The hurricane killed about 68 Floridians, caused at least $55 billion in damages, and has left 600,000 homes in Florida without power.

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