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New York man describes church beating that killed his son: ‘Blows that hurt drive out evil’

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The New York State man who took part in a church beating that nearly killed both of his sons invoked a Biblical verse to explain the rationale behind them, WKTV-TV reported.

“Blows that hurt drive off evil,” said Bruce Leonard, who admitted to whipping both youths “so they would understand the hurt they caused” by molesting not only their sister, but the children of their half-sister, Sarah Ferguson. He said that he whipped 17-year-old Lucas Leonard and 17-year-old Christopher Leonard 20 times apiece with an electrical cord.

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The older son died as a result of the injuries he received during the attack last October. The younger son admitted in earlier testimony that they had abused sister Grace Leonard as well as Ferguson’s children. Grace Leonard testified that she was abused by her brothers between the ages of 4 or 5 and 13.

Gawker reported that Bruce Leonard then said he gave the cord to Ferguson, who whipped both boys in their groins, prompting him to say that the attack got “too big, too crazy” after Lucas Leonard started bleeding from his groin.

As Reuters reported, Leonard pled guilty last week to first- and second-degree assault in exchange for testifying against not only Ferguson — who is charged with second-degree murder — but six other people charged in connection with the assault


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Former right-wing presidential candidate scamming Americans with toxic bleach cure

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Former diplomat and Reagan adviser Alan Keyes is a well-known gadfly who has run multiple times for president and for Senate, most famously against future President Barack Obama in 2004.

But lately, according to The Daily Beast, he has been involved in a different pursuit: the promotion of a dangerous pseudoscience scam known as the "Miracle Mineral Solution," or MMS.

The substance, which is actually just the powerful bleach chlorine dioxide, is supposedly a cure for everything from viral infections to infertility, and there was even a cultlike church known as the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, that promoted it as a gift from God. MMS has particularly taken root in developing countries like Uganda, but it also has a following in the United States, and many autistic children have been forced to drink it. Versions of this scam have even been promoted on Amazon.

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American exceptionalism is killing the planet

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Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

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Joni Ernst accused of involvement in ‘dark money’ re-election scheme: report

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According to a report from the Associated Press, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has been accused of illegally working with an outside group to help her re-election prospects in a tough 2020 fight with Donald Trump on the ballot.

According to AP: "An outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law."

"Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign," the report continued. "And a condo owned by a former aide — who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for her."

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