Cop forced homeless man to lick public urinal or face arrest, then tried to cover it up

This undated photo from video provided by Hawaii News Now shows Honolulu police officer John Rabago outside federal court in Honolulu. AP
HONOLULU – A Honolulu police officer plead guilty Monday to depriving a homeless man of his civil rights by forcing him to lick a public urinal.

John Rabago said in court that he told the man, identified in court by his initials S.I., that he wouldn’t arrest him if he licked the urinal. The man knelt down and put his head in the urinal, Rabago said.

Rabago and another officer had responded to a nuisance complaint when they found the man in a stall in the restroom. The man was uncooperative and initially gave a fake name, Rabago said.

The man told Rabago he would do anything not to get arrested. Rabago said he told him, “If you lick the urinal you won’t get arrested.”

Rabago said he threatened the man in an aggressive tone.

Rabago, who remains on restricted duty, and Reginald Ramones, who left the department in August, were arrested and charged earlier this year with conspiring to deprive the man of his civil rights. Ramones pleaded guilty in September to a lesser charge that he knew Rabago committed a civil rights violation but didn’t inform authorities about it.

U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi said Rabago’s threat wasn’t a mistake or miscommunication. “You knowingly and willfully forced S.I. to lick the urinal,” she said.

The homeless man feared he would be arrested and reluctantly obeyed Rabago’s orders, according to court documents. Rabago had previously threatened another man he was questioning by saying he wouldn’t be arrested if he stuck his head in a toilet, court documents said.

Ramones previously said in court that Rabago persuaded him not to tell authorities what happened in the public bathroom and to delete their text messages about it.

How poor people survive in the USA

Homelessness, hunger and shame: poverty is rampant in the richest country in the world. Over 40 million people in the United States live below the poverty line, twice as many as it was fifty years ago. It can happen very quickly.
Many people in the United States fall through the social safety net. In the structurally weak mining region of the Appalachians, it has become almost normal for people to go shopping with food stamps. And those who lose their home often have no choice but to live in a car. There are so many homeless people in Los Angeles that relief organizations have started to build small wooden huts to provide them with a roof over their heads. The number of homeless children has also risen dramatically, reaching 1.5 million, three times more than during the Great Depression the 1930s. A documentary about the fate of the poor in the United States today.

To the moon, all of you conspiracy theorists

One small step for man. One giant leap for nutjobs. Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of one of America’s greatest …

One small step for man. One giant leap for nutjobs.

Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of one of America’s greatest achievements — the first humans to land on the moon.

Or did we?

When Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin took those first lunar steps on July 21, 1969, Armstrong famously declared, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” That “small step” marked the culmination of centuries of scientific progress, and Americans stood proud.

Well, most Americans. Despite overwhelming evidence, including the collection of moon rocks and NASA images, the conspiracy nuts were soon out in force, claiming the moon landing was an elaborate hoax.

In 1976, writer Bill Kaysing published a conspiracy pamphlet titled “We Never Went to the Moon,” claiming the moonwalk footage was a fake, staged in a studio. In 2001, Fox News gave fresh blood to the lunar “truther” movement, airing a “Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?” special and interviewing a parade of Apollo 11 skeptics, including Kaysing and conspiracy filmmaker Bart Sibrel.

A year later, Sibrel assaulted Aldrin in a Beverly Hills hotel, screaming insults and poking him with a Bible. After one poke too many, Aldrin responded by socking Sibrel in the jaw, who then ran away. One small step for the good guys?

The number of conspiracy nuts mushroomed with the advent of social media, from lunar “truthers” to 9/11 “truthers” to anti-vaxxers to Holocaust deniers. Among their vilest smears is that the gunning down of children at Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 never happened and was a hoax, further compounding the grief of the parents.

Today, any cretin with a computer living in his or her parents’ basement can post a new “theory” that might go viral and bring instant notoriety in growing circles of similarly stunted intellects. Look Mom, I’m famous!

One might wonder how the human race has gotten this far. At that point, it’s good to remember that if we were able to get to the moon, there’s not much we can’t do.

So let’s keep the faith, and celebrate the Apollo 11 astronauts’ achievement with pride!

Follow playwright Mike Vogel at @mikewrite7.

(source: https://www.amny.com/opinion/lunar-landing-apollo-anniversary-truthers-moon-1-33913468/ )

Will Smith to Help Raise $50 Million to Fight Homelessness

As reported in The Washington Post, Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren will each read a bedtime story during a one-night fundraising event to help fight global homelessness. On December 7th, Smith has agreed to partner with The World’s Big Sleep Out, a campaign that seeks to raise money to end homelessness and displacement around the world. In an effort to raise $50 million, The World’s Big Sleep Out encourages people to organize or join a “sleep out” for one night to support various charities throughout the world.

“For one night, in backyards, hometowns and iconic locations across the globe, we will sleep out in unison to create the world’s largest display of solidarity with and support of those experiencing homelessness and displacement,” The Big Sleep Out states on its website.

Smith will be reading in Times Square in New York City, while Mirren will be doing hers in Trafalgar Square in London. Each location is expected to feature live performances. The sleep out is also planned in other major cities, including Chicago, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Los Angeles.

Will Smith
Will Smith will participate in the World’s Big Sleep Out on December 7th (Image: BigSleepOut.com)

100% of the funds raised from the New York event will go toward registered charities helping homeless and displaced people. International partners for the campaign include UNICEF USAMalala FundSocial Bite, and The Institute of Global Homelessness.

“I am blown away by the response to The World’s Big Sleep Out so far and incredibly excited to have 50 cities all over the world taking part, Josh Littlejohn MBE, the founder of World’s Big Sleep Out, said in a statement. “It doesn’t matter if you are taking part in Times Square or in your back garden with your family, by sleeping out for one night on December 7th, we can simultaneously express our compassion for homeless people who have no other choice and raise life-saving funds to make a difference. We can also send a message to the world’s political leaders that urgent action is required to address the human suffering that we each witness on our streets every day.” (source: https://www.blackenterprise.com/will-smith-50-million-homelessness/ )

Moving to Ireland – Cottage Restoration, Self-sufficiency and Sustainable Living

My name’s Daniel. I’m English, but in the summer of 2016 I gave up the rat-race to restore a derelict stone cottage in the wilds of western Ireland, where I currently live in a wee caravan on site.
It’s a slow process, but I’m also attempting to create a permaculture smallholding on the acre of wasteland, turning it into something beautiful and sustainable for generations to come; with a fruit and nut orchard, forest garden, and of course the odd chicken and duck to keep the weeds (and slugs) in check!
As if that wasn’t enough, I’m also attempting to film and VLOG the process, from building projects, to farming and foraging, to the simple (and not so simple) ups and downs of my life here in the Irish wilderness!
You’ll find a lot more information in the attached video and associated YouTube channel. Any support you may be able to offer, however small, would be life-changing, and immensely appreciated.

Thanks for reading!



Duran Duran at Kennedy Space Center Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

https://www.billboard.com/files/styles/article_main_image/public/media/duran-duran-2018-cr-stephanie-pistel-billboard-1548.jpg

Duran Duran

50 years after Apollo 11 made its historic launch, leading to the first two people landing on the Moon, Duran Duran hosted a 50th anniversary concert on Tuesday (July 16) in celebration at the Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center Visitor.
In a video uploaded from the event, the band performs “The Universe Alone,” off their 2015 album, Paper Gods. Simon LeBon croons in an out-of-this-world production as the screen behind him displays an astonishing image of stars in space. The performance was backed by an orchestra and choir, adding to the emotion. (source: Billboard.com)