Strange Knife Laws In Oklahoma

A recent bill in Oklahoma – Knife Rights’ Oklahoma Knife Law Reform bill SB 1159 – passed in the Oklahoma House by 76-5, and has already been passed unanimously by the Senate. The bill now goes to the Governor, Mary Fallin, for signing.

The law would remove dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife and sword cane from the list of items prohibited from carrying in Oklahoma. Switchblades in Oklahoma were made legal last year with bill HB 1911.

SB 1159 will be effective statewide upon enactment on November 1, assuming Governor Fallin signs the bill.

http://openstates.org/ok/bills/2015-2016/SB1159/

http://www.koco.com/news/Fallin-signs-bill-legalizing-switchblade-knives-in-Oklahoma/32624906

http://www.kniferights.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=299&Itemid=1

http://www.kniferights.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=358

Graph Comparing Number Of Congressional Investigations

investigations-02

The publication ThinkProgress did a graph comparing the number of Benghazi investigations to the number of investigations on other high-profile acts of terror.

http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/10/22/3715046/trey-gowdy-benghazi-slams-gop/

Classic Video: Ben Stein Argues For Higher Taxes For The Wealthy On Fox News


Majority Report

A few years ago, Ben Stein played the voice of reason on the show Fox and Friends, explaining that to lower the deficit, taxes must be raised on the rich. For the most part, his ideas were met by blank stares on the faces of the Fox News hosts.

(Sam Seder video)

(Updated tags, categories)

Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy To Retire?

On September 29th, Representative Trey Gowdy, the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, declined his colleagues’ calls for him to run for House majority leader.

The next day, one of them claimed he would retire, according to U.S. News and World Report.

“Trey wants to go back to South Carolina, and God bless him for that,” Rep. John Fleming, R-La., said on C-SPAN Wednesday morning.

Fleming was interpreting something the South Carolina Republican reportedly said during a GOP caucus meeting.  He said Gowdy would leave Congress at the end of his term.

“He plans to go back home, and he wants to finish his work on the Benghazi special committee, but he loves South Carolina and he loves his family, and he wants to go back and spend the rest of his life there,” Fleming explained.

“He’ll be sorely missed,” he added.

Gowdy’s office, however, immediately denied Fleming’s interpretation.

“No, he is not announcing his retirement,” Gowdy’s spokeswoman Amanda Duvall said to the Washington Examiner.” He has not made any announcement on 2016, anything else is incorrect,” Duvall said according to U.S. News.

Gowdy was first elected in the tea party wave of 2010 and represents South Carolina’s conservative 4th District. And while he has indicated in the past his intentions to return to South Carolina at some point, he apparently is not going yet.

(Updated report)

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/30/trey-gowdy-benghazi-committee-chairman-denies-retirement-report

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/lawmaker-trey-gowdy-to-leave-the-house-after-2016/article/2573082

Russia Wants To Fight ISIS: 3-Way War Consequences


Secular Talk

Russia is looking into furthering its military support of the leader of Syria, who is fighting ISIS.

These are the two main sides of the war – fundamentalist Jihadi rebels (such as ISIS) on one side, and Bashar al-Assad (the ruler of Syria) on the other.

The U.S. wants to support “moderate” rebels, who are supposedly against both Assad and ISIS, creating a 3-way war.

A 3-way war is an interesting concept.  How is this working out in real life?

Syrian Refugee Numbers

Which countries have taken in the most Syrian refugees?

Here are the numbers:

Turkey: 1.9 million

Lebanon: 1.1 million

Jordan: 629,000

Egypt: 132,000

Which countries are getting the most Syrian asylum requests?

Germany: 98,700

Sweden: 64,700

Serbia: 49,500

Hungary: 18,800

Austria: 18,600

Bulgaria: 15,000

Netherlands: 14,100

Denmark: 11,300

Switzerland: 8,300

United Kingdom: 7,000

France: 6,700

Spain: 5,500

Greece: 3,545

Italy: 2,143

These are the number of asylum requests, not the actual number of people who have arrived in that nation.  Nor is it the total number expected to apply.  For example, the total number of people expected to apply for asylum in Germany is between 800,000 and 1,000,000.

What’s the U.S. doing?

About 1,500 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the United States since the start of the conflict in 2011, most of them this fiscal year, writes CNN.

CNN writes that President Barack Obama ordered his administration to “scale up” the number of Syrian refugees to be allowed into the U.S. – at least 10,000 in the next fiscal year, a White House spokesman said on September 10th.

The proposed resettling of at least 10,000 Syrian refugees would be allocated out of a U.S. quota of 75,000 total refugee admissions slated for next fiscal year, beginning October 1, said a senior administration official.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/million-refugees-arrive-germany-year-150914101006005.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/09/world/welcome-syrian-refugees-countries/

Thai Murder Case Unravels

Roughly one year ago, the bodies of a young British couple were discovered dead on a Thai beach.

Hannah Witheridge was from eastern England and David Miller was from the Channel Islands in Britain. They were in their early 20s and vacationing together on the tiny tropical island of Koh Tao off the coast of southern Thailand.

On Sept. 14, 2014, they attended an all-night party on Koh Tao’s idyllic Sairee Beach: a half-mile swath of emerald water and white sand. Sometime deep into the night, the two friends wandered off, perhaps headed back to their bungalow resort nearby.

That’s when the killers pounced.

By the time dawn broke over Koh Tao, the beach had been transformed into a grisly scene. Witheridge was found with her head beaten and her skirt wrenched up and her body showing signs of rape. Miller was found not far away with his head also beaten.

A rusty hoe, its blade broken and supposedly caked in gore, lay nearby.

Authorities scoured its jungles for suspects as islanders blocked the ferry to prevent the killers’ escape. Coming just four months after a coup had installed a military junta in power, the case quickly became a litmus test of the new government’s commitment to fighting crime.

One year later, those test results are far from convincing.

Two Burmese workers are currently on trial for the tourists’ killings, but the case is quickly unraveling in court. On Friday, a Thai forensic expert said that DNA evidence from the supposed murder weapon does not match that of the suspects.

The testimony is just the latest in a long series of shocking setbacks that threaten to sink the case.

From the beginning, there were signs that the investigation was in trouble.

Thai police admitted to moving Miller’s body, ostensibly to prevent it from washing away. Authorities announced that Witheridge was raped, then said she wasn’t, before finally saying she was raped twice.

Cops initially named a British friend of hers as a person of interest, then began taking DNA samples from hundreds of suspects. The investigation descended into the absurd when Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha commented on the killings by saying that only ugly women were safe wearing bikinis in Thailand.

Finally, police appeared to have found their footing when they arrested two Burmese migrants who, police said, had confessed to the crime.

Yet, that case also has been disintegrating. Shortly after arresting the two 22-year-old Burmese men, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, Thai officials had the suspects perform a bizarre public reenactment of the crime, in which they seemed confused. Bystanders, including a TV reporter, were roped in to play the the victims.

Their confession, itself, was confused. The men said they didn’t use condoms, even though police insisted they had.

Then, just a few days later, a lawyer for the two men said that the confession was false: Police had beaten it out of them.

“They told me that they were on the beach that night drinking and singing songs,” said attorney Aung Myo Thant, a Burmese Embassy official, the Guardian reported. “They said they didn’t do it, that the Thai police beat them until they confessed to something they didn’t do.

“They’re pleading with the Burmese government to look into the case and find out the truth,” he added after speaking to the two men. “They were a really pitiful sight. Their bodies had all sorts of bruises.”

Doubts about the case against the migrants — and the underlying mystery of who killed the tourists — have only deepened since the trial began in early July.

Thai police admitted in court that they never bothered to check CCTV footage of a boat leaving from a nearby pier just an hour after the killings.

“We have the footage, but we never checked it,” Police Col. Cherdpong Chiewpreecha said in court, drawing gasps from those in attendance, according to Sky News. He said he simply didn’t believe the killer would have taken the boat.

Cherdpong also said that his department had not investigated rumors of a fight between Witheridge and the son of a powerful Koh Tao politician the night of the killings.

His department didn’t fully test the alleged murder weapon. Instead, the colonel told the court that the hoe was examined under a magnifying glass but that investigators decided there were no viable fingerprints or DNA to collect, according to Sky News.

Blood spatters were not tested, Cherdpong said.

Finally, he said he didn’t think it was relevant that CCTV footage showed men fleeing from the area in different clothing than what the Burmese workers were wearing that night.

Last month, the interpreters who were used to obtain the now retracted confession admitted in court that they are actually roti (pancake) vendors who barely understand Thai and speak little Burmese, according to the Myanmar Times.

“The second roti seller has been on the stand today, and it’s become very clear that he does not have much of grasp of Thai at all, so we don’t understand how he could have translated for police,” Andy Hall, a British migrant-rights advocate who is assisting the defense, told the newspaper. “As well there have been many police procedural issues exposed this week, including many inconsistencies in the timing of events around the arrest of the accused.”

Then came Friday’s bombshell about the DNA on the bloody hoe.

Police had previously given conflicting statements about the DNA evidence, initially saying that it was lost or “used up” before later insisting that it had been properly saved, according to Reuters.

Last month, a court on Koh Samui — 40 miles from Koh Tao — ordered that the remaining forensic evidence in the case be sent for reexamination.

Last Friday, Pornthip Rojanasunand, the head of Thailand’s forensics institute, testified that DNA found on the hoe does not match that of the two accused Burmese men, according to the Telegraph.

The trial is expected to be finished later this month, but with no DNA evidence and a disputed confession, the case appears to be collapsing.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/09/15/rape-murder-and-a-deepening-mystery-on-a-tiny-tropical-island/

http://www.smh.com.au/world/british-pair-found-murdered-on-thai-resort-20140915-10hckz.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3230318/DNA-evidence-weapon-used-kill-two-British-backpackers.html

Police Mistook Student’s Clock For Bomb


The Dallas Morning News

A high school student in Texas named Ahmed Mohamed built a clock that authorities mistook for a bomb.

The Dallas Morning News writes:

The teacher kept the clock. When the principal and a police officer pulled Ahmed out of sixth period, he suspected he wouldn’t get it back.

They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”

Ahmed felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name — one of the most common in the Muslim religion. But the police kept him busy with questions.

“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed said.

“I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”

“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”

USA Today writes that President Obama invited him to the White House.

“Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?,” @POTUS tweeted. “We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”

Mohamed is a  freshman at MacArthur High School in Irving.  He was suspended and Irving police handcuffed, questioned and detained him, then let him go, according to USA Today.

(Updated)

Sick Story: Woman Sent To Psychiatric Ward Because Police Didn’t Believe She Owned Her Car


TYT Network

A woman is suing New York City after she claims she was forced to spend eight days in a mental health facility and given a $13,000 (£8,500) bill because a police officer didn’t believe the BMW she was driving was hers, according to the British newspaper The Independent.

Kamilah Brock, 32, who is a banker, said that police had initially pulled her over at a red light in Harlem and asked her why her hands were not on the steering wheel. She said she was dancing because she was at a light. She was then asked to get out of the car.

She was detained in jail and later released without charges. When she went to get her BMW, the cops reportedly didn’t believe it was hers and sent her to Harlem hospital psychiatric ward.

“I just felt like from the moment I said I owned a BMW, I was looked at as a liar,” Brock told PIX 11.

According to the British newspaper The Daily Mail, records show that personnel at Harlem Hospital tried to make her deny that she owned a BMW, was a banker, and that President Barack Obama followed her on Twitter.

Medical staff believed that Brock had bi-polar disorder for her claims about the BMW, her job, and her social media account.

According to the Daily Mail, Brock’s lawyer Michael Lamonsoff says that his client told the truth the entire time and claims that Brock was discriminated against because she is black and a white woman would not have had the same experience.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3232178/Outrage-black-woman-forced-spend-8-days-psych-ward-cops-not-believe-BMW-driving-hers.html#ixzz3lofjxhGV
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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/black-woman-held-in-mental-hospital-because-police-didnt-believe-bmw-was-hers-10498704.html

http://news.yahoo.com/lawsuit-cops-put-black-woman-223206953.html