NY Times Reporter: Control More Important Than Law In China

A New York Times reporter named Michael Wines has been reporting from  Linyi, China. In an artilce entitled “China’s Obsession With Stability Can Come at the Cost of Laws” he suggests that human rights are routinely ignored by the Chinese government in exchange for expediency.

“Beijing quietly tolerates local officials’ lawlessness, and they do so for a simple reason: with rare exceptions, the system is exceedingly efficient at stifling unrest.”

The article then goes on to detail efforts to stifle the press who attempt to cover the story of Chen Guangcheng (a Chinese dissident who sought protection at the U.S. Embassy): “Journalists who sought on Sunday to talk to residents a few hundred yards from Dongshigu, the village in Linyi where Mr. Chen was held captive, were quickly escorted out by thugs in four automobiles, and later were accosted in a burst of arm-wrenching and name-calling.

Members of the same gang still keep Mr. Chen’s mother incommunicado and under siege here. Mr. Chen’s nephew faces a charge of attempted murder after he slashed a knife at plainclothes officers who invaded his home and beat him. Lawyers seeking to defend the nephew have been ordered to drop the case or face retribution.”

Wines does admit “There is no evidence that the central government in Beijing ordered this harassment, all of which is illegal under Chinese law.”

Read the NY Times article here.

49 Mutilated Bodies Found Dumped On Mexican Highway

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Reports have come in that a group known as the Zeta’s are claiming responsibility for the 49 headless bodies on a highway near Mexico’s northern city of Monterrey.

The mutilated corpses of 43 men and 6 women, whose hands and feet had also been cut off, were found in a pile on a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta Jimenez in the early hours of Sunday, officials from the state of Nuevo Leon said.

Mexican authorities say they are having a hard time identifying the bodies because they are headless.

The massacre was the latest in a string of mass slayings that have convulsed Mexico in recent months, many of them in the north of the country, where the Zetas have waged a war against rival groups for control of smuggling routes (go to MSNBC.com for full story).

President Obama Endorses Same Sex Marriage, But Not Really…

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As I attempted to log into my hotmail account I didn’t even make it past the home page. You can tell it is an election year. Just yesterday it was announced that the state of North Carolina will ban gay marriage and civil unions. This has gained the attention of activists across the nation and apparently the POTUS as well.

As election time draws near both Democrats and Republican leaders seem to be reaching for votes. MSNBC reports that today President Obama has announced that he believes that same sex couples should be allowed to get married. In the past President Obama has endorsed “civil unions” as an alternative to gay marriage. The “civil union” stance on gay marriage was typical of Obama’s middle of the road campaign style. He’s the “compromise” President trying hard to keep everyone happy. It’s been suggested that pressure from the “left” has prompted Obama to update his stance on gay marriage. That being said, Obama is also reported as saying that he believes marriage legislation should be left up to the individual states. Really? Are you paying attention? (continue…)

Kenneth Chamberlain Case: Autopsy Casts Further Doubt on Police Claims

A grand jury met to determine whether charges should be filed in the shooting of retired Marine Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. The grand jury has determined that no charges should be filed.

If you are not familiar with the details of the Kenneth Chamberlain case, here is a brief summary: Police burst into Chamberlain’s apartment, tasered him and shot him on November 19, 2011. Lawyers for Chamberlain’s family say newly revealed documents show the White Plains police violated their own taser policy by using the weapon on an elderly person. They also state that the audio reveals that the White Plains Police Dept. failed to give a verbal warning prior to using force.

In April 2012 DemocracyNow spoke with attorneys Mayo Bartlett and Abdulwali Muhammad. Here is the video from that segment:

Kenneth Chamberlain Case: Police Officers Will Not Be Charged

Mayo Bartlett, attorney for family of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., reacts to the grand jury announcement that none of the White Plains police officers will be charged for shooting dead his client after they were called to his house when he mistakenly set off his LifeAid medical alert pendant. Bartlett is the former Chief of the Bias Crimes Unit of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the former chair of the Westchester County Human Rights Commission:

Police Officers Accused Of Using Racial Slurs Before Shooting Cleared By Grand Jury

Reports have come in that neither Anthony Carelli, nor any of the other White Plains, New York police officers who were present when 68-year old Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. was shot and killed on November 19th will face criminal charges.

White Plains Police Officers came to Chamberlain’s home when he accidentally triggered his medical alert device. Police officers involved in the incident claim Chamberlain attacked the officers with a hatchet.

Chamberlain’s family, however, claims video and audio from the incident shows that he was unarmed when police shot and killed him.  It was revealed the officers had used several racial slurs while storming into Chamberlain’s home, even allegedly taunting him with a taser gun. The DA’s office has said they showed the tapes to the Chamberlain’s family but will not release them to the public.

In April, Officer Carelli was scheduled to appear in court for a separate police brutality incident stemming from 2008 in which two twin brothers of Jordanian descent claimed Carelli and his cohorts used police batons to beat the brothers and called them “rag heads.”

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. was a former U.S. Marine. An online petition, “Justice For Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.,” calling for police to release audio and video recordings from the incident has garnered over 190,000 signatures as Chamberlain’s story has received more and more mainstream media attention in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

NFL Great Junior Seau Shot to Death [Police suspect Suicide]

Junior Seau was regarded as one of the N.F.L.’s best linebackers to play the game. During his 20-year career Seau played with the San Diego Chargers, the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. According to reports Seau died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Seau’s body was found by his girlfriend Wednesday morning. The Oceanside police department said Seau’s death was being investigated as a suicide. Lieutenant Leonard Mata said that they do not expect to finish the investigation until next week.

Seau would be the second former N.F.L. player to commit suicide in the past two weeks. (Ray Easterling, a safety for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1970s and a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the N.F.L. died on April 19 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. ) Seau was 43 years old when he died.