Category Archives: Human Rights

Finally Free: The West Memphis Three Released After 18 Years In Prison…

The West Memphis Three, then and now. Left to right, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr., and Jason Baldwin.

Like many of you today, I’ve been reading reports about the somewhat sudden release of The West Memphis Three all day. While it’s not hard to feel a sense of relief that finally, after 18 years in prison, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr., and Jason Baldwin are free, the news is still bittersweet.

Accused of masterminding a horrific crime that resulted in the death of three eight-year-old boys, Damien Echols spent half of his life on Death Row. In a letter published today on the Free The West Memphis Three website, Echols continues to maintain the trio’s innocence. Despite the fact that the use of the ‘Alford plea’ in their release requires that Echols, Misskelly Jr., and Baldwin acknowledge that prosecutors in the case have enough evidence against them.

Recent DNA evidence (which wasn’t available at the time of the incident and trial), has concluded that DNA found at the scene was not a match for Echols, Misskelly Jr., or Baldwin. Yet, three eight-year-old boys are still dead, and 18 years later their killer remains at large. Today, three boys leave prison, now men in their mid-30’s, half of their lives lost forever, and their collective futures uncertain at best.

The Prosecutor in the case, Scott Ellington, still believes that the three are guilty of the crime. According to Ellington, the case might be “closed” but he still believes that Echols, Misskelly Jr., and Baldwin are guilty, saying that he has “no reason to believe that there was anyone else involved in the homicide of those three children.”

Undoubtedly, some are angry that The West Memphis Three were released today, and others, like myself, are celebrating. As of this writing, the defense has named another suspect, Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the murdered boys, as a suspect. DNA evidence from a hair found in the shoelaces used to bind the boys is a match for Hobbs. Three new eyewitness accounts place Terry Hobbs with the three children at his home, shortly before the boys disappeared. An accusation that Hobbs has already denied under oath.

The judge in the case will now have to make two rulings, one regarding juror misconduct, and the other regarding the DNA from the crime scene that does not belong to Echols, Misskelly Jr., or Baldwin. It’s unclear if the accusations and DNA evidence linking Terry Hobbs to the crime will ever be prosecutable.

A case based on panic and hysteria, not actual evidence and proof, is still without closure.

Over nearly two decades, the media, countless blogs, and many high-profile celebrities and musicians, like Pearl Jam and director Peter Jackson, have helped bring awareness to the case, as well as helping to fund the WM3’s massive legal defense. Now that the West Memphis Three seemingly have another shot at life, let’s not forget they still need our help. For more information, visit the West Memphis Three site.

Cherries For A Good Cause By Parra…

Cherries for a Good Cause by Parra for Converse. Price and availability, TBD.

A portion of the proceeds from Dutch artist and designer Parra and his collaboration with Converse goes to support The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

More on Parra, here.

Dear Arizona – Happy Cinco de Mayo! Love, Danny Trejo…

Danny Trejo (aka: Machete) and his heartwarming Cinco de Mayo shout out to Arizona.

Here’s a special Cinco de Mayo edition of the new Robert Rodriguez movie Machete that includes a warning holler out to all of the desert dwelling racists fine citizens of Arizona.

Thanks! To everyone who sent this to me today.

Christmas BALLS!: Fucked Up Cover “Do They Know It’s Christmas”…

Fucked Up, Do They Know It’s Christmas, 2009.

Canadian band Fucked Up teamed up with the likes of Bob Mould, Kevin Drew, Tegan and Sara, and Yo La Tengo to rework the 1989 Band Aid Christmas classic, Do They Know It’s Christmas.

All proceeds from the sale of the single (available via iTunes) will benefit the following charitable organizations: Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Montreal), DTES Power of Women Group (Vancouver) and Sisters in Spirit (Ottawa).

The groups are working together to end the frightening epidemic of missing and murdered native women in Canada. Since 1980, there have been 520 documented cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women across the region.

More information via Amnesty International, here.

Stay Classy Target: Illegal Alien Costume, FAIL…!

BuyCostumes tag line for the Illegal Alien costume: He just didn’t cross the border to get here, he crossed the galaxy! Holy Homeland Security!

To be fair to the Republican loving chain Target, the equally right-swinging Walgreens was also distributing this “Illegal Alien” costume. Late last last week, under mounting pressure from Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, both chains pulled the costume from their shelves.

As of this writing the costume, made by a company called BuySeasons, Inc., is still listed for sale on BuySeason’s retail site, BuyCostumes.

Thanks to Surly for the link.

When Courtney Met Chavez…

The future Mrs. Courtney Love-Cobain-Chavez.

Courtney Love claims that during a screening for Oliver Stone’s new doc on Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan Dictator himself was giving her the Palin-wonk from across the room. Sez Courtney:

It was the third wink that sold me. He’s a sexy dawg. He invited me to visit his country and I’d like to go. I’ll rock Caracas!

Coup de’ etat Caracas! Wait, that already happened. My bad.

More photos (shudder) and thanks to: Dlisted.

*Programming note: This photo might be the basis for my Halloween pumpkin this year. Mommy, I feel cold.*

Guitar Lesson: $11,000…

Brian May. The F-Major from Bo-Rap is gonna run you extra…

Brian May of Queen auctioned off two hours of personal guitar instruction to the tune of $11,000. The private lesson, to take place at May’s London home, will benefit Action for Brazil’s Children. The recent push for ABC raised over $30,000 for the charity. ABC is also auctioning off a dozen custom guitars, designed by notable painters and graffiti artist from Brazilian and London. Check out this Gibson hand-painted by London artist Pure Evil. Flip the Gibby around to see Evil’s reproduction of his 2007 painting, Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Bastards.

To learn more about ABC or to donate, click here.

Rockstar, Racist Energy Drink…

Rockstar. If it looks like piss, and it tastes like piss, awww, fuck. If you don’t know where I’m going with this you’re probably drinking piss right now…

Let’s face it, we all consume a mass amount of Kool-Aid type products that come or are derived from sources we pretend don’t exist. Slaughter houses, Montsanto, Proctor and Gamble. The list is endless. When it comes to the swill-in-a-can also known as Rockstar Energy Drink, perhaps being informed about it’s origins, more specifically the people who own Rockstar, might get you off that junk for good.

Russell Goldencloud Weiner is the CEO of Rockstar. Weiner is also the co-founder of The Paul Revere Society. Members of the PRS work actively to deport illegal immigrants from the U.S., support the elimination of bilingual language education and, lobby against gay marriage rights. Meh? Okay. Weiner’s mother is Rockstar’s CFO. She’s married to Weiner’s father, Michael Savage. Michael Savage likes to say words like these in broadcast media:

Homosexuals have taken over every aspect of the culture. That’s how we have the president that we have…..Diversity is a cover for perversity.

Or these:

We need to keep out the Koreans because they might grill dog in the back yard. I wish I was making this up. Basically, the majority of immigrants are disease ridden, scum sucking, handout cases who come with a bad attitude and expect us to take complete care of them. Or they’re here to destroy us and everything we stand for.

So you see, the real reason Rockstar tastes like ass is because it’s made by pieces of shit.

Source: World of Wonder

Lily Allen Goes Straight to Hell…

Lily Allen, Straight to Hell. Originally done by The Clash.

Okay, I don’t hate this version of the Clash 1982 classic, Straight to Hell, but I don’t like it either. The track was recorded and features vocals from former Clash guitarist Mick Jones. You can find the song on the War Child compilation, HerosWar Child International is a network of independent organizations that work to help children affected by war around the world. The record is due out on February 16th. Here’s the track listing. It’s pretty killer…:

1. Beck, “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” (Bob Dylan)
2. The Kooks, “Victoria” (The Kinks)
3. The Hold Steady, “Atlantic City” (Bruce Springsteen)
4. Hot Chip, “Transmission” (Joy Division)
5. Lily Allen feat. Mick Jones, “Straight To Hell” (The Clash)
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” (The Ramones)
7. Franz Ferdinand, “Call Me” (Blondie)
8. Duffy, “Live And Let Die” (Paul McCartney)
9. Estelle, “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder)
10. Rufus Wainwright, “Wonderful/Song For Children” (Brian Wilson)
11. Scissor Sisters, “Do The Strand” (Roxy Music)
12. Peaches, “Search And Destroy” (Iggy Pop)
13. Adam Cohen, “Take This Waltz” (Leonard Cohen)
14. Elbow, “Running To Stand Still” (U2)
15. The Like, “You Belong To Me” (Elvis Costello)
16. TV on the Radio, “Heroes” (David Bowie)

What The Fuck, Chuck…

Chuck Norris strikes a very ungay pose…

Chuck Norris can now add “writer” hatemonger to his resume. In addition to ass-kicking and hanging with his best buddy Mike Huckabee, Chuck has been writing for a right-wing rag called World Net Daily. A couple of days ago, Chuck picked up his best hate pen, and had this to say about some of the tactics being used by groups currently challenging the passing of Prop 8 hate in California. Methinks Chuck might be confusing some of his films with reality:

The enraged vehemence and actions being displayed by many Prop 8 opponents are the same underhand tactics bullies use in neighborhoods and school playgrounds. They reflect the ways that mobs conducted themselves in the underworld. They are methods gangs use to control their turf. They are the wiles that the KGB used to suppress their enemies.

Besides, not providing the same rights to everyone isn’t illegal. It’s all about boundaries, yo…:

They are American citizens who are following 5,000 years of human history and the beliefs of every major people group and religion – that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. Their pro-Prop 8 votes weren’t intended to deprive any group of their rights – they were safeguarding their honest convictions regarding the boundaries of marriage.

But really, what did you expect Chuck to say about this. His Dad is GOD. Below, Chuck makes his Daddy proud by calling out the “sham” known as Evolution:

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live. It’s funny. It’s cute. But here’s what I really think about the theory of evolution: It’s not real. It is not the way we got here. In fact, the life you see on this planet is really just a list of creatures God has allowed to live. We are not creations of random chance. We are not accidents.

Phew! What a relief. To think, all this time I thought I had accidently evolved into a human being. Which is more than I can say for Chuck Norris

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