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NYPD Spying Is Alive and Well

Mark Ovaska/Redux

Officials inside the police department say the end of the Demographic Unit is not the first step in dismantling an intelligence program meant to protect the city from terrorist attacks after 9/11.

The New York City Police Department is curtailing its spying ON the Muslim community, but it will continue spying IN the Muslim community.And it will do so as part of an ongoing counter-terrorism effort that includes the use of undercovers and confidential informants.In fact, the department is training more undercovers even now.So, despite what some may say, the shutdown of the Zone Assessment Unit—previously named the Demographic Unit—is not the first step in dismantling the intelligence operation created under the previous police commissioner, Raymond Kelly.

HATE

Frazier Miller’s Racist Mayor

Keith Myers/Kansas City Star/Getty

Danny Clevenger says he agrees with the racist alleged murderer that Jews are destroying America.

Frazier Glenn Miller wasn’t the only racist in his area.The alleged killer of three at Jewish sites in Kansas hails the town next door to Marionville, Missouri (population 2,000) whose mayor says he agrees with the white supremacist.Newly elected mayor Danny Clevenger was a friend of Miller, who used to be a customer at Clevenger’s engine repair shop. Clevenger told KSPR-TV, that he “kind of agreed with [Miller] on some things but, I don’t like to express that too much.

Evil

The Murder of Innocents

CRIME LAW HEADSHOT/Reuters

A Utah mother charged with killing six of her infant children was described as cold and aloof by a neighbor. Police are still searching for answers in the tragedy.

The woman who sits in a suicide suit in a Utah County Jail cell traded one prison for another. Megan Huntsman, charged with murder for the deaths of seven children that she claims to have birthed, then killed, had lived with her secretive deeds beginning in 1996, according to her statements to police. While some neighbors have praised her in the terms many use when confronted with a horrible crime committed by a seemingly gentle person, others thought Huntsman was, quite simply, “cold.

MMM

We’ve Hit Peak Food Trolling

Courtesy Domino's

Fast-food companies’ crazy concoctions are meant for your eyes and ears more than your stomach.

Fast-foodies rejoice! Domino’s pizza, the purveyor of cheap bread-based fuel, has just launched an exciting new product: Specialty Chicken. This new entrant to the menus consists of breaded chicken nuggets topped with cheese and sauces, including Crispy Bacon & Tomato and Spicy Jalapeno-Pineapple. “Our new Specialty Chicken is one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had,” said Russell Weiner, Domino’s Pizza chief marketing officer, said in a press release.

Thy neighbor’s wife

Sex Scandal Rocks Duggars’ Project

TLC

The far-right Christian Patriarchy—brought to American audiences by the Duggar family—is on the verge of collapse after a series of alleged sex scandals involving the movement’s leaders.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have put many years and a lot of work into putting a smiling, nearly normal-seeming face on the extreme Christian right. The couple adheres to a fringe strain of fundamentalist Christianity dubbed the “Christian patriarchy” or sometimes the “Quiverfull” movement, and while there is a lot of internal diversity to the movement, they generally preach a combination of beliefs that run counter to mainstream America: absolute female submission, a ban on dating, homeschooling, a rejection of higher education for women, and shunning of contraception in favor of trying to have as many children as humanly possible.

Coming Home

Divided in the Wake of Fort Hood

Ben Sklar/Getty

After Fort Hood many veterans saw a tragic but isolated incident, while a narrative about PTSD fueled violence spread in the media. The tragedy revealed the extent of our divisions.

The country has buried the dead of the recent Fort Hood shooting. A lone bugler played taps to a forlorn tree line and three folded American flags were given away to those dreaded words: “on behalf of a grateful nation.”Rituals of public mourning typically bring Americans together in the wake of tragedies, but in many ways the reaction to Fort Hood has driven us further apart. The difference between how military and veterans communities dealt with the shooting and the popular views expressed in some media outlets was so vast that it was hard to imagine the two groups were responding to the same event.

Little-Guy Hero

Gun-Toting Ranchers Defeat Feds

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

The U.S. government says Cliven Bundy owes $1 million in grazing fees and sent in contract cowboys to round up his cattle. But the 67-year-old rancher managed to fight them off—for now.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has lost in every court his boots have walked into in recent years.But thanks to the Bureau of Land Management’s mismanaged attempt to round up his “trespass cattle” from federal land, Bundy has won a round in the court of public opinion and emerged as a little-guy hero to conservative media outlets and right-wing politicians.The land-use issue isn’t a small one in the Silver State. The federal government rides herd over 86 percent of Nevada’s public space, and ranchers here have long been at odds with the regulatory enforcement style of the BLM.

Proud History

Liam Neeson’s Horse Cart Crusade

The Daily Beast

The actor says horses are bred to pull carriages and have done so forever. The minute he uttered those words, he should have packed up and left New York City.

Critics of gay marriage often find themselves simply confused by the terms of the debate. They seem to encounter the same unbending opposition, whether their approach is an appeal to the prudence of political gradualism, an invocation of the natural order, or a warning about the risks of casting aside centuries of habit and custom.That’s not because of anything that special about gay marriage. There’s a larger pattern at work. It’s the reason why conservatives find themselves playing defense so often.

Surveillance

Killing the Muslim Spy Unit

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty

An NYPD unit tasked with spying on the city’s Muslims was publicly killed Tuesday, just days after a ruling that upheld its legal basis. So what gives?

New York is the country’s largest city and one of its most progressive but since 2001 it’s also been at the forefront of some of the most aggressive and controversial anti-terrorism tactics. Yesterday, city officials announced the end of one of those major tactics: targeted spying on Muslim communities.But there’s some strange timing going on here. For one thing, New York’s liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio was in favor of the surveillance program before he was against it.

Here’s Where Your Tax Dollars Go

JIM WATSON

It’s the $2.8 trillion-dollar question on Tax Day: Where—exactly—does my money go?

—By CNBC’s John Schoen. It’s the $2.8 trillion-dollar question many people ponder when they write that check payable to the U.S. Treasury. Where does all that money come from? And where—exactly—does my money go?If you have trouble balancing your checkbook, imagine trying to keep track of where $2.8 trillion goes every year. Even with armies of government accountants and auditors, it’s hard to know with certainty exactly where each dollar of your income taxes ends up.

Who Is Frazier Glenn Miller?

Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon dissects the story of Miller, a 'nightmare image' of 'hate groups nestled in the heartland' who went on a Kansas killing spree on Sunday.

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