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At least 13 off-duty law enforcement officials under investigation for participating in Capitol riots

January 16, 2021 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

As the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continues its investigation into the U.S. Capitol riots, law enforcement agencies on the state and local level are also tasked with conducting investigations to see if members of their own agencies participated in the deadly riots.

According to The Washington Post, so far, a total of 13 off-duty law enforcement officials are believed to have been involved in the U.S. Capitol riots. However, it has also been reported that the “tally that could grow as investigators continue to pore over footage and records to identify participants.”

With Inauguration Day fast approaching, law enforcement agencies are looking to close in on investigations as soon as possible due to the possibility of violence ahead of President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo opted to specify how the First Amendment factors into this particular situation. Despite Trump supporters and conservatives’ belief that their rights are being violated, Acevedo argued that committing criminal acts while exercising First Amendment rights is where the line is drawn.

“We are making clear that they have First Amendment rights like all Americans,” Acevedo said, adding, “However, engaging in activity that crosses the line into criminal conduct will not be tolerated.”

Acevedo, also president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, insisted that “the behavior is so egregious that it is often fellow officers who are alerting police chiefs and others to their colleagues’ participation in last week’s mob attack on the Capitol.”

The latest development about police officers’ possible involvement in the Capitol riots has renewed calls for defunding the police. While many Republicans have argued that the civil rights protests that took place over the summer were worse than the Capitol riots, Craig Futterman, director of the University of Chicago Law Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project explained how the Capitol riots are distinctly different.

Futterman said, “The ‘Code of Silence’ is fundamentally about loyalty to your fellow officer and that ‘no one understands what we’re going through but us.’” He also noted that there is something “‘fundamentally anti-police’ about storming the Capitol.”

As of Saturday, Jan. 16, the FBI revealed the agency has made over 100 arrests in connection with the Capitol riots.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Capitol rioters say an officer told them 'it's your house now'

January 16, 2021 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

The U.S. Capitol riots took place more than one week ago but the FBI is still uncovering details about the grim historic event. According to The Hill, two of the rioters arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol have revealed a Capitol police officer actually told them “it’s your house now” as they breached the federal building.

A criminal complaint filed on Thursday, Jan. 14 outlines FBI agents’ interview with Robert Bauer, of Cave City, Va., and his cousin Edward Hemenway, Winchester, Va., two men who admitted that they were among the pro-Trump mob that entered the building as lawmakers worked to certify the Electoral College vote. The two recounted what occurred that day as they recalled their discussion with the officer.

The complaint reads, ‘Both Bauer and Hemenway recalled staying on the same level of the U.S. Capitol, while inside the building. Both men remembered encountering a police officer after they entered. According to Bauer, the police officer grabbed his hand, shook it, and said, ‘It’s your house now.’ Bauer believed that the policeman was acting out of fear. Hemenway similarly recalled the officer shaking Hemenway’s hand and Hemenway said, ‘Sorry,’ to which the officer replied, ‘It’s your house now, man,’ and gave Hemenway a half-hug.’”

Bauer admitted that he believes the officer responded in fear due to the mob rushing into the building. However, that officer’s identity still remains unknown. On Friday, the men appeared in federal court in Bowling Green, Va., as they pleaded not guilty to charges of “trespassing and knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds,” according to the Courier-Journal.

The latest news comes as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies continue investigating the U.S. Capitol riots to hold as many rioters accountable as possible. President Donald Trump is also being held accountable for his dangerous rhetoric that allegedly contributed to the riots taking place. On Jan. 14, the president was impeached for a second time for inciting an insurrection.

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Source: ALTERNET

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This historical anthropologist wants to upend the conventional wisdom about human nature and violence

January 16, 2021 in Blogs

By April M. Short

War and all of its brutality is attention-grabbing and memorable. Recollections of war and conquests tend to stick around and take up the spotlight in historical records. However, a war-centered narrative paints an incomplete picture of human history—and human nature. While there is a popular opinion in the anthropological community that war is an evolutionary, inborn tendency of humans, there is also pushback to that theory. There is a growing argument for a human history that predates war altogether and further points out that war is not innate to human nature, but instead, is a social and cultural development that begins at certain points around the globe.

However, once war takes place, it tends to spread, explains historical anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson, who has spent more than 40 years researching the origins of war. Ferguson, a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University, notes that war is not the same thing as interpersonal violence or homicide. War implies organized, armed conflict and killing sanctioned by society and carried out by members of one group against members of another group. Ferguson argues that current evidence suggests that war was not always present but began as a result of societal changes—with evidence of war’s origins appearing at widely varying timestamps in different locations around the world. He estimates that the earliest signs of war appear between 10,000 B.C., or 12,000 years ago.

“But in some areas of the world you don’t see any signs of war develop until much more recently,” he says, noting that in both the U.S. Southwest and Great Plains there is no evidence of war until around 2,000 years ago.

Ferguson wrote an article in the Scientific American in 2018 titled, “War Is Not Part of Human Nature,” in which he details his take on war. In the article, he summarizes the viewpoints of two anthropological camps, dubbed hawks and doves by late anthropologist Keith Otterbein. The hawks argue that war is an evolved predisposition in humans dating back to when they had a common ancestor with chimpanzees. Doves, meanwhile, argue that war has only emerged in recent millennia, motivated by changing social conditions. In the article Ferguson writes:

“Humans, they argue [doves], have an obvious capacity to engage in warfare, but their brains are not hardwired to identify and kill outsiders involved in collective conflicts. Lethal group attacks, according to these arguments, emerged only when hunter-gatherer societies …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here are the most dangerous and notable lies Trump spewed during his presidency

January 16, 2021 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

For the last four years, fact-checkers have had their hands full keeping up with President Donald Trump’s unprecedented level of dishonesty. While The Washington Post reported that Trump had delivered more than 22,000 false or misleading claims and as of Oct. 22, a new editorial highlights the president’s most dangerous lies over the course of his presidency.


President Trump has made more than 20,000 false or misleading claims | Fact Checker

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CNN reviewed Trump’s history of lies to shed light on the most notable ones he has told.

From his false claims taking credit for the Veterans Choice health care program former President Barack Obama signed into law in 2014 to the ridiculous “Sharpiegate” incident where Trump created his own weather forecast for Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and his fiasco with former adult film star Stormy Daniels the publication noted just how ridiculous some of Trump’s lies have been.

In fact, some of the disgraced president’s notable claims likely helped to shape his presidency and the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The publication reports that Trump’s remarks insisting the coronavirus was “under control.” From the beginning of the pandemic up to the grim point where the country is now, Trump has repeatedly claimed that his administration has had the coronavirus “under control.”

Even after a chaotic shutdown, the unorganized economic reopening, and the incriminating tapes Bob Woodward released where Trump admitted how bad the virus was, he continued to maintain his deceptive stance. Now, the United States has reported more than 23 million positive COVID cases with a death toll near 400,000.


10 times Trump downplayed the coronavirus

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Another ongoing lie Trump told centered on health care. Throughout the course of Trump’s presidency, he told lie after lie about the release of his healthcare plan. Now, with just four days left in his presidency, there is still no healthcare plan. However, on more than a dozen occasions, Trump promised the plan would be released but to no avail.


15 times Trump promised to enact a health care plan

www.youtube.com

Trump’s “most depressing lie” centers on his latest conspiracy about the election being stolen from him. In the months leading up to the presidential election, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Jim Carrey slams 'Nightmare-in-chief' Trump and his 'cartoonishly evil' allies in new cartoon sketch

January 16, 2021 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

Jim Carrey is one of the many Americans fed up with President Donald Trump’s antics.

The famed actor has channeled his frustrations with the release of artistic depictions of Trump, his allies, and the civil unrest that erupted over the last week. In his latest cartoon released on Friday, Jan. 15, Carrey released a “cartoonishly evil” depiction of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, according to The HuffPost.

The grim portrait of Giuliani featured the embattled attorney with an opened mouth, yellow teeth, and dye dripping from the side of his head. With the image of a panicked Giuliani, Carrey wrote, “Nightmare-in-chief Donald Trump assembled a cast of freaks so cartoonishly evil they strain credulity. Don’t ever say my acting is over the top again.”

Earlier this week, he also shared a number of cartoon images documenting the U.S. Capitol riots.

Carrey’s latest artwork comes just weeks after he tweeted about his portrayal of President-elect Joe Biden on “Saturday Night Live.” On Dec. 19, 2020, the “Dumb and Dumber” actor took to Twitter with his reaction to his role on SNL. Although Carrey was only set to appear on the comedic sketch series for a total of six weeks, he admitted that he was proud to have served as the “SNL President.”

“Though my term was only meant to be 6 weeks, I was thrilled to be elected as your SNL President…comedy’s highest call of duty. I would love to go forward knowing that Biden was the victor because I nailed that s**t,” Carrey tweeted, adding, “But I am just one in a long line of proud, fighting SNL Bidens!”

…read more

Source: ALTERNET