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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.


This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tamir Rice Prosecutor Indicted Innocent Men, But Not Killer Cops - The Daily Beast

Tamir Rice Prosecutor Indicted Innocent Men, But Not Killer Cops - The Daily Beast

"Attorneys for Rice’s family cried foul as McGinty allowed the officers to take the oath and read prepared statements to the grand jury with no cross-examination, and he released reports justifying the killing written by outside experts, which the family’s attorneys denounced as biased.

Last month, he made disparaging remarks about the Rice family and their lawyers, appearing to accuse them of seeking to profit from the child’s death through a pending lawsuit."

Friday, December 25, 2015

U.S. plans raids to deport families who surged across border - The Washington Post

U.S. plans raids to deport families who surged across border - The Washington Post

What kind of person,  what kind of President would let this happen?    He knows what is the right and just thing to do and he is choosing evil.   This is worse than ignorance.  It is either bad will or cowardice.  Shame on President Obama,  shame,  shame,  shame on this Christmas day.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Six Video Frames at the Center of the Tamir Rice Case - The New York Times

Six Video Frames at the Center of the Tamir Rice Case - The New York Times

Police are to often reckless and dangerous.  Their average IQ is 104.  We need smarter and better educated police instead of taking the left overs that the corporate world does not want.   Policing has to stop being an employer of last resort for the Donald Trump supporting element of the working class.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cuomo Moves to Pardon Former Youthful Offenders

Cuomo Moves to Pardon Former Youthful Offenders

"Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Sunday that he would seek out and pardon thousands of people who were convicted of nonviolent crimes as teenagers but have since led law-abiding lives.

Envisioned as a way to remove stubborn barriers to employment, housing and other services, the pardons would be available to anyone who was found guilty of a nonviolent felony or misdemeanor that was committed while they were 16 or 17, provided they have spent at least a decade without any additional convictions. Under his plan, Mr. Cuomo intends to invite those people to apply for — and virtually be assured of receiving — a governor’s pardon, as long as they meet several other criteria."

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

Kids' toxic test results raised alarm over water supply: Doctor | MSNBC



Kids' toxic test results raised alarm over water supply: Doctor | MSNBC

Flint toxic water tragedy points directly to Michigan Gov. Snyder | MSNBC



Flint toxic water tragedy points directly to Michigan Gov. Snyder | MSNBC

NYTimes: The New Attack on Hispanic Voting Rights

NYTimes: The New Attack on Hispanic Voting Rights

"As I wrote in Part 1 of this series, in August, Obama’s election was followed by a sudden return of restrictive new voting laws, most of them disproportionately affecting minorities, that were enacted by newly empowered Republican legislatures throughout the country. There were reductions in early voting days, which make it easier for the working poor to get to polls and which have been used with particular effectiveness by black churches running Sunday ‘‘souls to the polls’’ drives. There were rollbacks of laws that allowed people to register and vote at the same time, a vital convenience for lower-income Americans, who more regularly change addresses and would otherwise need to continually update their voter information. And there were new photo-ID laws that placed strict limits on which types of identification would be accepted at polls: The law in Texas accepted gun permits, held predominantly by whites, but not state school or employee IDs."

Monday, December 14, 2015

Brutal Video Contradicts Officers' Claims About Inmate's Death

Brutal Video Contradicts Officers' Claims About Inmate's Death

"A New York Times investigation into the 2010 death of an inmate from a New York prison has reignited concerns about brutality in the state's prison system.

Leonard Strickland, a 44-year-old man who suffered from schizophrenia, died after enduring "fatal injuries" from prison guards at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, on Oct. 3, 2010, according to his family's lawsuit. 

Last month, as Strickland's family sued over his death, the Times successfully argued that a video recording the paper had obtained from the prison should be made public. It's not clear why an officer began to film the incident in the first place, but the video shows officers pushing Strickland up against a wall and then dragging his body across the floor instead of using an available gurney. Medical staff performed CPR for almost 30 minutes while Strickland was still handcuffed, and he died a few hours later."

Can Rahm Emanuel hold on to power?



Can Rahm Emanuel hold on to power?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Rise of Hate Search - The New York Times

HOURS after the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2, and minutes after the media first reported that at least one of the shooters had a Muslim-sounding name, a disturbing number of Californians had decided what they wanted to do with Muslims: kill them.



The Rise of Hate Search - The New York Times

Friday, December 11, 2015

Why Scalia Is Wrong on Fisher v. University of Texas - The Root

Of course, his insinuations in Fisher are insulting, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think. On the surface, the comments do strike as repugnant. Granted. However, what is most alarming is that while his statements may bear some level of statistical truth, they are absolutely worthless outside of historical context. You cannot put people who have run barefoot in dirt fields their entire lives on the same track as those who have been sponsored by Nike in world-class facilities since birth and expect that to be an even race or competition. That the former are even in the race is an accomplishment of its own.
This is what his commentary fails to consider or to illuminate. The socioeconomic conditions that lead to disparities in education from grade school forward are the missing context that make Scalia’s comments unfair and his insinuations unjust. None of this considers the greatest point of irony in the discussion, which is that the petitioner, Abigail Fisher, actually lacked the academic credentials to be admitted to the school.


Why Scalia Is Wrong on Fisher v. University of Texas - The Root

Listen to Justice Scalia's Comments on Race Based Admissions - NBC News - I would have loved to have had racist Scalia in one of my law school jurisprudence classes. I would have kicked his ass, excuse my language. Yes my law school university was and is ranked considerably higher than the University of Texas.

NYTimes: Relief, Tinged With Anger, After Officer’s Rape Conviction

NYTimes: Relief, Tinged With Anger, After Officer’s Rape Conviction

"In all, 13 women of varying ages testified against Mr. Holtzclaw. And on Thursday, 12 jurors, all white, concluded that the accounts were credible enough for a conviction."

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on ‘One Person, One Vote’ - The New York Times

This is a major case, conservatives are tryimg to remove the census as a basis for determining apportionment for elections. This case, arising out of Texas is being argued by Bloom, the same lawyer who successfully convinced the Supreme Court to invalidare the section five preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on ‘One Person, One Vote’ - The New York Times

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Why did it take 13 months? | MSNBC



Why did it take 13 months? | MSNBC

Gun Violence and Fear in America

Gun Violence and Fear in America

"As congressional leaders spout more National Rifle Association-inspired rhetoric about the right to bear arms without any infringement on the Second Amendment, I am finding my First Amendment rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of association trampled.

At what point do we, as a society, say enough is enough? The Constitution was not written to protect an American’s right to own an arsenal fit for an army. It is time that we recognize the erosion of our other rights. Prayers and memorials aren’t the answer. Mental health treatment, even if it were available to all, will not stop the carnage.

It’s time to enact sensible gun legislation aimed at getting to the real problem: too many guns in too many hands without checks and balances."

Sunday, November 29, 2015

NYTimes: With Diversity Comes Intensity in Amherst Free Speech Debate. Wealthy alumni do not get that naming athletes after someone who promoted genocide is wrong.

NYTimes: With Diversity Comes Intensity in Amherst Free Speech Debate

"They wanted the college to stop calling its athletes the Lord Jeffs, after Lord Jeffery Amherst, the pre-Revolutionary War British commander who advocated germ warfare against Native Americans and for whom this college town was named. They wanted students who had posted “Free Speech” and “All Lives Matter” posters to go through “extensive training for racial and cultural competency” and possibly discipline. They wanted the administration to apologize for “our institutional legacy of white supremacy,” among many other forms of discrimination, like “heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma and classism.”

Saturday, November 28, 2015

THE LATE JUDGE SAYS POLICE HAVE A VIRTUAL 'LICENSE TO SHOOT AND KILL BLACKS' IN 1985, NOTHING HAS CHANGED, RACISM IS Permanent.- NYTimes.com

A State Supreme Court justice said yesterday that ''white police have been virtually given a license to shoot and kill blacks with impunity'' and he warned black listeners to ''beware.''
''You are an endangered species,'' the judge, Bruce Wright, who is black, said in a speech at a conference on ''Issues Facing Minorities in the Law'' at New York Law School. ''Thus,'' he said, ''a legitimate issue and concern of minority students is survival.''
A police spokesman, Sgt. Edward Burns, said last night that the department would have no comment on Justice Wright's charges until it had read a text of the speech.
Similar Remarks Before
Justice Wright, 66 years old, has made similar comments before. In a 1979 address at Princeton University, he said jury acquittals virtually gave white police officers ''a license to hunt and kill blacks.''
A New York City Bar Association Committee called his comments ''unseemly'' and the judge allowed that his language might have been ''excessive.''
As a criminal court judge in the 1970's, Justice Wright was criticized by the police and Mayors Koch and John V. Lindsay for setting low bail for defendants. He was elected to Supreme Court in Manhattan in 1982 and has been assigned to the civil branch.
To back up his assertions, Justice Wright cited two 1970's cases in which white police officers fatally shot blacks and were acquitted of wrongdoing.
The first took place on April 28, 1973, on New York Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens. Thomas J. Shea, a 13-year veteran of the police force, was searching for two black men in their 20's who were accused of stealing a taxicab when he shot Clifford Glover, a 10-year- old black youth. The officer said the youth had ''made a reaching motion.''
A jury acquitted the officer of murder on June 12, 1974, but he was dismissed from the police force at a departmental trial that summer for ''wrongfully and without just cause'' firing the shots that caused the death.
Justice Wright said Mr. Shea had said ''the byword of American apartheid'' when he told the judge in the trial that he had ''paid no particular attention'' to height, weight or faces except ''just the color of the skin.''
The second incident Justice Wright cited was the slaying of Randolph Evans, a 15-year-old black youth, outside a Brooklyn housing project on Thanksgiving Day 1976 by a white police officer, Robert Torsney.
Officer Torsney, who was answering a call near the project, fired a single shot into the victim's head, killing him. The officer contended that he had fired after seeing the youth draw a gun, but witnesses and other police officers disputed this.
Rare Form of Epilepsy
The officer was acquitted after his attorney contended that he suffered from a rare form of psychomotor epilepsy. He was placed in a mental institution and released in 1979 after a court found he was not ''presently'' dangerous either to himself or to others.
''There are others you should not forget,'' Justice Wright said yesterday.
After he was appointed to the criminal court bench by Mayor Lindsay in 1970, the judge launched several attacks on what he perceived as racism in government, in the judiciary and among police officers and jail guards.
He has also been an outspoken proponent of using bail not as a means of detaining a defendant but of assuring his appearance at trial. Police officials criticized him for this policy when he freed without bail a man accused of slashing the throat of a police officer.





JUDGE SAYS POLICE HAVE A VIRTUAL 'LICENSE TO SHOOT AND KILL BLACKS' - NYTimes.com

Controversial Memorial for 'Turn 'Em Loose Bruce' : NPR

To the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, he was Turn 'Em Loose Bruce, the judge who let poor and black defendants out on little or no bail, sometimes after being charged with violent crimes against cops. But to New York's African-American community, he was nothing less than a folk hero, a fearless black man willing to stand up to what many see as a racist, criminal justice system.

Judge BRUCE WRIGHT: I believe with almost religious zeal that I must honor the admonition of the last will and testament of Frederick Douglass, which was to all black people of this country: Agitate, agitate, agitate. And I don't think that my right to agitate stops at the courthouse door.


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I was pulled over by the police, and feared for my life.

I was pulled over by the police, and feared for my life.

"I'm a 40 year old white male, living in a sleepy southern city.  I teach in an inner-city school in a larger city, so I get to see both sides of the issues between police and minorities.  I always try to explain both sides to each other, believing (probably naively), that if we communicate enough, we can stop hating each other so much.

A lot of that changed last week when I was pulled over for "not wearing a seat belt," (Which, of course, I was wearing.)

More below....

So, I'm driving to the pharmacy, exhausted after a long day and my 6 month old is crying in the back seat.  All of a sudden, I notice a police cruiser come flying up behind me and hits the lights.  I haven't been pulled over in nearly 20 years.  The roads are tight, so I couldn't just pull over.  I moved up the road and found a parking lot and pulled in.

My baby started screeching, so I turned around in my seat to try to reach for his binky and I accidentally hit my door knob with my elbow, opening the door slightly.  I know that I should have just sat there with my hands on the wheel, but like I said, it had been a long day, and my head hurt.

All of a sudden there was screaming.  I looked in the mirror and saw a young female police officer pointing and yelling at me as two more cruisers swerved into the parking lot behind her.

I put my hands up and turned around and sat at the steering wheel.  I lowered the window as she eased up. I noticed she was putting her weapon back in the holster.

She wanted my drivers' license, registration, and proof of insurance.  "Sure."  I asked her what was wrong, and she said she pulled me over because I didn't have my seat belt on.  

That really threw me off.  I NEVER drive without a seat belt.  Ever.  My father was a race-car driver, and he really instilled in me the necessity of seat belts.  I told the officer that I always wear it, and she looked me over.  I feel as if she was surprised.  Maybe the real reason they pulled me over was they were looking for someone?  I don't know.  

She took my information back to her car and came back in less than 20 seconds, letting me go this time.  The other two cars pulled away and she was gone with them before I could even think to look and see what PD she was with.

This really surprised me.  In a sleepy town, the cops are pulling over someone for "seat belt violation,"  and pulling weapons on us?  It takes three cars to check the safety of this seat belt?"

Friday, November 27, 2015

Laquan McDonald and The Corrupt System That Killed Him - The Atlantic

Laquan McDonald and The Corrupt System That Killed Him - The Atlantic

"Thanks to clear video evidence, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged this week with first-degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Nevertheless, thousands of people took to the city’s streets on Friday in protest. And that is as it should be.

The needlessness of the killing is clear and unambiguous:

Yet that dash-cam footage was suppressed for more than a year by authorities citing an investigation. “There was no mystery, no dead-end leads to pursue, no ambiguity about who fired the shots,” Eric Zorn wrote in The Chicago Tribune. “Who was pursuing justice and the truth? What were they doing? Who were they talking to? With whom were they meeting? What were they trying to figure out for 400 days?”

There is no doubt that Officer Van Dyke acted badly. As he faces murder charges, there remains a need to demand accountability for the Chicagoans complicit in the injustice he perpetrated.

Protestors want accountability for investigators whose inexplicable slowness allowed Van Dyke to remain on desk detail and to collect a paycheck from taxpayers. And the civic derelictions of duty run even deeper. They implicate Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the city council, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, rank-and-file cops, Pat Camden, who leads Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, and members of the press who credulously report police-union talking points.

All played a part in a corrupt status quo. Until it is reformed, more Chicagoans will die needlessly at the hands of police."

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Readers Weigh In: Woodrow Wilson Cost My Grandfather Too - The New York Times





Gordon J. Davis’s Nov. 24th Op-Ed, “What Woodrow Wilson Cost My Grandfather,” recounted the story of his grandfather, John Abraham Davis, an African-American man whose prestigious career in the Government Printing Office was destroyed after President Wilson segregated the government in 1913. In recent weeks, students at Princeton — where Woodrow Wilson also served as president — have demanded that his name be removed from university facilities. Below are some highlights from the hundreds of reader comments on the article.





Readers Weigh In: Woodrow Wilson Cost My Grandfather Too - The New York Times

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chicago police release shooting video, charge officer with murder | MSNBC



Chicago police release shooting video, charge officer with murder | MSNBC

Analyzing the McDonald shooting tape | MSNBC



Analyzing the McDonald shooting tape | MSNBC

All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC



All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

Chicago releases dashcam video of Laquan McDonald's fatal shooting | MSNBC

Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and his police chief has a hell of a lot of nerve trying to lecturing Black people how to act after they obstructed justice by violating Illinois law by for 13 months refusing to release a video tape of another police murder. They need to be punished for their actions. To many white Americans are able to sleep at night inn the face of this type of oppression. We need to find ways of making it less comfortable for this. Massive civil disobedience is necessary. Hit them in the pocket book and in the ballot box. Block highways and streets. Keep the average white person from getting to their job. Demand justice and shut the economy down if otherwise. Rahm Emanuel with your sewer mouth, no home training crude self I will speak to you in the only language you understand. Go to hell.




Chicago releases dashcam video of Laquan McDonald's fatal shooting | MSNBC

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke charged in shooting death of Laquan McDonald - Chicago Tribune

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke charged in shooting death of Laquan McDonald - Chicago Tribune

Mayor Emmanuel needs to be opposed in the next election.  He has shown that he does not value "Black lives".  His blatant blocking of the release of the video of this murder was an obstruction of Justice. He needs to be prosecuted.  People  who behave like him are the enemy.  They must be not allowed to handle a government office.  President Obama should publicly distance himself from his former chief of staff.  We know however that President Obama tends to have a weak spine.   I hope he proves me wrong.

Jamar Clark protests: 5 shot near Black Lives Matter encampment - Minneapolis’ local Black Lives Matter group were among dozens claiming on Twitter that the shooters were “white supremacists.” | MSNBC

Most of the protesters broke off but around four of them kept on up the street to ensure the three men would not come back. Wronski-Riley said that at this point the men “turned around and without warning and started shooting at us … everything was super chaotic.”

Minneapolis’ local Black Lives Matter group were among dozens claiming on Twitter that the shooters were “white supremacists.”

Jamar Clark protests: 5 shot near Black Lives Matter encampment | MSNBC

Sunday, November 22, 2015

NYTimes: Chicago Set for Protests Over Shooting by the Police

NYTimes: Chicago Set for Protests Over Shooting by the Police

"But Chicago now finds itself grappling with the prospect of having its own moment. The city has been ordered to release, within days, a police video of the fatal shooting of a black 17-year-old by a white police officer. Even the officer’s lawyer has described the video, which the city sought for months to block from public view, as “graphic” and “violent” and “difficult to watch at some points.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Need weed? now you can get pot delivered to your door - Buying weed? Now you can get pot delivered to your door - CNET

Need weed? now you can get pot delivered to your door - Buying weed? Now you can get pot delivered to your door - CNET

"More than 600,000 Californians have medical marijuana cards alllowing them to legally use the drug, according to cannabis investor network The ArcView Group. Some are confined to home, while others don’t have easy access to the estimated 1,500 dispensaries in the state. That's where people like Daniel, who delivers cannabis goodies for Flash Buds in Los Angeles, can help.

“If it wasn’t for delivery services, a lot of patients wouldn’t have access at all,” says Lauren Vazquez, deputy director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, which works to change federal and state laws on pot use."

Thursday, November 19, 2015

O’Donnell: Don’t call terrorist a ‘mastermind’ MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell explains his objection to media calling the man believed to be the main planner of the Paris terror attack a ‘mastermind.’ - The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC



The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC

Chris Hayes compares the French discussion in the aftermath of the Paris attacks with the American discussion, which has focused on Syrian refugees: "Sometimes in the wake of a crisis or a tragedy, people say something must be done. And this is something, therefore it must be done. And it is that kind of reasoning frankly that has gotten us into some of the most destructive debacles in recent memory."- All In with Chris Hayes - All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC



All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up. - The Washington Post
 

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My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.

The place I call home no longer feels safe.

On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. I was in a rush to get to my weekly soccer game, so I decided to go enjoy the game and deal with the lock afterward.

A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice and what sounded like a small dog whimpering outside, near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. I was surprised to see a large dog halfway up the staircase to my door. I stepped back inside, closed the door and locked it. "

"

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tim Cook insists Apple is 'open' after black teens asked to leave store, report says

Tim Cook insists Apple is 'open' after black teens asked to leave store, report says

"When you've spoken out about the removal of racist symbols in the American south, how do you respond when a video shows apparent racism in one of your own stores?

This was the situation facing Apple CEO Tim Cook after video emerged of several black teens being asked to leave the Apple store at the Highpoint shopping center in Melbourne, Australia.

The reason, so an Apple employee says in the video, was that other workers were concerned the teens "might steal something."

The video, posted to Facebook on Tuesday by Melbourne resident Francis Ose, shows the teens' incredulous reaction when being told why they were being asked to leave.

In his posting, Ose wrote: "Simply Racism, made them apologise tho."

On Friday, BuzzFeed published an email it said was sent by Cook to his employees. In it Cook said Apple is an "open" company and called the incident "unacceptable."

"One of our store employees gave an answer which shocked many of us," Cook said, adding that the employee "immediately" expressed regret to the students.

Neither Apple nor Ose responded to my request for comment."

What Divides Us?: An Interview with Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway - The New Yorker

What Divides Us?: An Interview with Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway - The New Yorker

"It’s in Yale’s culture, specifically, that’s what I’m speaking to. You have a very privileged university, with a lot of students here of great privilege and a lot without. You’re dealing with a coming together of people from radically different perspectives, and you take, in this case, what we’ve been hearing mostly from women of color, that they’re feeling doubly marginalized, in this very pure-air environment, where their views are discounted because they’re female, or their views are discounted because they’re black or Latina, or their views are discounted because they’re both. People are telling stories of professors presuming they wouldn’t know how to answer a question, while the white students in the seminar got a very different set of reactions on the same issue, where people wouldn’t even engage them, that fellow students wouldn’t make eye contact, wouldn’t talk about them. They’re sick and tired of people saying, “Can I touch your hair? It’s so exotic.” They’re frustrated by the notions of beauty in which they aren’t represented at all."

‘Political correctness’ doesn’t hinder free speech – it expands it | Lindy West | Comment is free | The Guardian

‘Political correctness’ doesn’t hinder free speech – it expands it | Lindy West | Comment is free | The Guardian

"Framing free speech and political correctness as opposing forces is a false dichotomy intended to derail uncomfortable but necessary conversations, a smokescreen ginned up by the ethically lazy. The fact is, political correctness doesn’t hinder free speech – it expands it. But for marginalised groups, rather than the status quo."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

NYTimes: Gov. Christie Doesn’t Want Your Vote

NYTimes: Gov. Christie Doesn’t Want Your Vote

"New Jersey’s voter-turnout rate is among the lowest in the country. During the 2014 midterm elections, 30.4 percent of the state’s eligible voters went to the polls. Last week, only 21 percent of voters came out — the worst showing for a general election in state history."

NYTimes: Egypt’s Brazen Crackdown on Critics

NYTimes: Egypt’s Brazen Crackdown on Critics

"On Sunday, Hossam Bahgat, a soft-spoken human rights activist and journalist, was  summoned to an Egyptian military intelligence office in Cairo. These meetings have long terrified government critics in Egypt because they often lead to a descent into the country’s perverse justice system."

Racial Tension and Protests on Campuses Across the Country

Instances of racism and bigotry have ignited protests at colleges across
the United States, and social media has amplified students’ messages
far beyond campus. Here are some examples



Racial Tension and Protests on Campuses Across the Country

NYTimes: Appeals Court Deals Blow to Obama’s Immigration Plans

"A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, ruled 2 to 1 against an appeal by the Obama administration, saying a lawsuit brought by 26 states to block Mr. Obama’s actions was likely to succeed at trial."

Monday, November 09, 2015

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prisoner Re-entry (HBO) - YouTube



Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prisoner Re-entry (HBO) - YouTube

When states charge for public defenders, poor defendants are doomed | Chandra Bozelko | Comment is free | The Guardian

"But the creeping trend toward requiring indigent defendants in the US legal system to pay for public defenders proves that recidivism starts before any defendants even hit a correctional facility – and that it springs directly from the process that was designed to defend them. They receive substandard representation that essentially guarantees convictions and incarceration. They are saddled with the bills for this representation and incarceration and then it becomes a crime not to pay them."

Real Time with Bill Maher: Quentin Tarantino Interview (HBO)

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Recommended read from Salon.com: Slavery, the Nazis and the KKK: We can't face the past, and it's poisoning our future

Recommended read from Salon.com: Slavery, the Nazis and the KKK: We can't face the past, and it's poisoning our future

"Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House one spring day in 1865, bringing an end to the noble Southern cause that his great adversary, Ulysses S. Grant, described as "one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse." But despite appearances the Confederacy had not been defeated, and today's Republican Party represents its values almost perfectly. For reasons that are both obvious and deeply perverse, people in small Northeastern towns celebrate the Rebel flag their own ancestors shed blood to defeat. Eight hundred thousand died in that war and slavery came to an end, at least as a legal institution under that name. But with the defeat of Reconstruction it was transformed into a long-term system of white supremacy whose persistent effects, and whose very existence, must be repeatedly denied or minimized or greeted with a puzzled shrug."

Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC - The ripple effects of China's one-child policy In an effort to boost economic growth and confront and aging population lacking caretakers, China is now allowing couples to have two children for the first time in more than three decades. Author Mei Fong joins Melissa Harris-Perry.



Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC

Melissa Harris-Perry Why is drug addiction now a political issue? Heroin and painkillers account for 56% of all drug overdose deaths, with the number of people dying of heroin-related overdose nearly tripling since 2008. Nicole Porter, Juan Manuel Benitez, Amy Goodman and Carl Hart join to discuss.



Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC

Bold new drug policy pays off The DEA reports that drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury death in the US. Police Chief Leonard Campanello’s revolutionary drug policy is paying off and more departments are joining. Chiefs Fred Ryan and Leonard Campanello join Alex Wagner.



The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Suicide of a Dishonest Officer - The New York Times

Suicide of a Dishonest Officer - The New York Times

"But there are others for whom that claim cannot be made. They are the people who from the beginning went further than any evidence would support in trying to link Gliniewicz’s death to so-called anti-police rhetoric and presidential politics.

On “The Kelly File,” the host, Megyn Kelly, said that it was too early to know the exact circumstance of the “murder” of Gliniewicz, “but it clearly comes just days after Deputy Darren Goforth of the Sheriff’s Department was shot execution-style in an attack that his boss linked to the, quote, ‘dangerous environment created by the Black Lives Matter movement.’ ”

NYTimes: In Houston, Hate Trumped Fairness

NYTimes: In Houston, Hate Trumped Fairness

"Sometime in the near future, a transgender teenager in Texas will attempt suicide — and maybe succeed — because vilifying people for their gender identity remains politically acceptable in America."

NYTimes: Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General

NYTimes: Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General

"The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research."

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

NYTimes: Opponents of Houston Rights Measure Focused on Bathrooms, and Won

NYTimes: Opponents of Houston Rights Measure Focused on Bathrooms, and Won

"HOUSTON — A coalition of social conservatives, Republican officials and pastors who fought for the repeal of a measure banning discrimination based on factors like age, race and sex wanted voters here to call it by another name — the Bathroom Ordinance. It worked."

NYTimes: Britain, Concerned About Russian Crash, Halts Flights From Egyptian Resort

NYTimes: Britain, Concerned About Russian Crash, Halts Flights From Egyptian Resort

"LONDON — The British government temporarily halted flights to Britain from the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el Sheikh on Wednesday after Prime Minister David Cameron said that a Russian chartered jet that broke apart over the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday “may well have been brought down by an explosive device.”

NYTimes: Mexico’s Supreme Court Opens Door to Legalizing Marijuana Use

NYTimes: Mexico’s Supreme Court Opens Door to Legalizing Marijuana Use

"The Mexican Supreme Court opened the door to legalizing marijuana on Wednesday, delivering a pointed challenge to the nation’s strict substance abuse laws and adding its weight to the growing debate in Latin America over the costs and consequences of the war against drugs.

The vote by the court’s criminal chamber declared that individuals should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for their personal use. The ruling is a first step — applying only to a single cannabis club that brought the suit — and does not strike down Mexico’s current drug laws. But it lays the groundwork for a wave of legal actions that could ultimately legalize marijuana."

Monday, November 02, 2015

The Truth about the Spring Valley "Officer Slam" Assault on a Teen Girl

The Truth about the Spring Valley "Officer Slam" Assault on a Teen Girl

"Not many news agencies have reported, or even wondered why she was asked to leave in the first place.  As it turns out she had momentarily looked at her phone during class, and apologized for it at the time.  Nor have they wondered why the phone issue, which she had already put away, escalated to an administrator and then the now fired school resource officer who had a reputation around the campus as "Officer Slam" for his tendency to throw students to the ground, assaulted her in the first place. They say she was "disruptive and disrespectful" but witnesses state that she was arguing that she'd done nothing wrong, which actually she hadn't. Before Slamster even approached the student he had another student move his desk and clear a path, then removed the Chromebook that was on her desk - so he planned from the moment he entered the room to assault her regardless of anything she did or didn't do.

And also it's not true, despite the claims of CNN's leading cop-apologist Harry Houck that this WWE move was "just fine" because she wasn't injured. She was injured."

Obama to visit Newark for criminal justice push | MSNBC



Obama to visit Newark for criminal justice push | MSNBC

Obama pushes back on the 'Ferguson effect' | MSNBC




Obama pushes back on the 'Ferguson effect' | MSNBC

Friday, October 30, 2015

After a public kiss, vacationing lesbian couple violently arrested in Hawaii by off-duty cop

After a public kiss, vacationing lesbian couple violently arrested in Hawaii by off-duty cop

Polish Court Turns Down U.S. Request for Roman Polanski’s Extradition

Polish Court Turns Down U.S. Request for Roman Polanski’s Extradition

"Judge Mazur sided with Mr. Polanski’s lawyers. “I’m terrified by the statements of some of my colleagues in the U.S.,” he said, citing an account last year that a Los Angeles judge thought Mr. Polanski should “cool his heels in jail” if he returned to the United States under a proposed deal in which the authorities would agree that the filmmaker had already served his punishment. (The deal did not happen.)

“If I were to behave like them, I’d lose the respect of all my subordinates here,” Judge Mazur said. “I do not find any logical, rational explanation as to why the U.S. is pursuing the extradition.”

Shaker Aamer Is Released From Guantánamo Prison After 13 Years

Shaker Aamer Is Released From Guantánamo Prison After 13 Years

"Held in direct violation to the US Constitution.  "WASHINGTON — Shaker Aamer, whose detention at theGuantánamo Bay prison in Cuba attracted the attention of human rights lawyers, political leaders and rock stars, was freed on Friday after more than 13 years in captivity, British officials announced. Mr. Aamer, a Saudi citizen and British resident, was flown to London.

Mr. Aamer’s transfer, which was confirmed by the British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, ends one of the best-known cases at the American prison.

At its center was a charismatic, English-speaking detainee who has been the subject of intense dispute. Military officials have portrayed Mr. Aamer, 46, as a dangerous Islamist leader, while human rights advocates see him as a victim falsely accused of ties to terrorism. Now Mr. Aamer will be free to speak his mind in public."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Political Lies About Police Brutality - The New York Times

Video recordings of police officers battering or even murdering unarmed black citizens have validated longstanding complaints by African-Americans and changed the way the country views the issue of police brutality. Police officers who might once have felt free to arrest or assault black citizens for no cause and explain it away later have been put on notice that the truth could be revealed by a cellphone video posted on the Internet.



This kind of public scrutiny is all to the good, given the damage police brutality has done to African-American communities for generations and the corrosive effect it has on the broader society. Yet the peeling away of secrecy on these indisputably unconstitutional practices is now being challenged by politicians who want to soft-pedal or even ignore police misconduct while attacking the people who expose it or raise their voices in protest against it. This trend is like something straight out of Orwell.



Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey — the increasingly desperate presidential candidate who is going nowhere fast — took this posture on Sunday when he accused President Obama of encouraging “lawlessness” and violence against police officers by acknowledging that the country needed to take both police brutality and the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement seriously.



The president is absolutely right. This movement focuses on the irrefutable fact that black citizens are far more likely than whites to die at the hands of the police. The more the country ignores that truth, the greater the civic discord that will flow from it.



The recent remarks of James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were not as racially poisonous as Mr. Christie’s, but they were no less incendiary. In a speech at the University of Chicago Law School on Friday, Mr. Comey said that heightened scrutiny of police behavior — and fear of appearing in “viral videos” — was leading officers to avoid confrontations with suspects. This, he said, may have contributed to an increase in crime.



There is no data suggesting such an effect, and certainly Mr. Comey has none. But his suggestion plays into the right-wing view that holding the police to constitutional standards endangers the public. Justice Department officials who have made a top priority of prosecuting police departments for civil rights violations — and who dispute that heightened scrutiny of the police drives up crime — were understandably angry at Mr. Comey’s speculations.



His formulation implies that for the police to do their jobs, they need to have free rein to be abusive. It also implies that the public would be safer if Americans with cellphones never started circulating videos of officers battering suspects in the first place.



A day after Mr. Comey made his remarks, The Times published a lengthy investigation into racial profiling and abusive police behavior in Greensboro, N.C., the third-largest city in the state. After reviewing tens of thousands of traffic stops and years of arrest data, Times reporters found that the police pulled over African-American drivers at a rate far out of proportion to their share of the local driving population. The police searched black motorists or their cars twice as often as whites — even though whites where significantly more likely to be caught with drugs and weapons.



Greensboro police officers were more likely to pull black drivers over for no reason and more likely to use force if the driver was black, even when the driver offered no physical resistance. A black Greensboro man who nearly lost his job as a result of asking an officer why he was being ordered out of his car during a nightmarish encounter said: “Every time I see a police officer, I get a cold chill. Even if I needed one, I wouldn’t call one.”



This is the kind of treatment that some Americans routinely face at the hands of their police departments. Mr. Comey’s speculations about alleged pressure on officers to stand down shows that he hasn’t begun to grasp the nature of the problem.



Political Lies About Police Brutality - The New York Times

Monday, October 26, 2015

NYTimes: The Law School Debt Crisis

NYTimes: The Law School Debt Crisis

"In 2013, the median LSAT score of students admitted to Florida Coastal School of Law was in the bottom quarter of all test-takersnationwide. According to the test’s administrators, students with scores this low are unlikely to ever pass the bar exam.

Despite this bleak outlook, Florida Coastal charges nearly $45,000 a year in tuition, which, with living expenses, can lead to crushing amounts of debt for its students. Ninety-three percent of the school’s 2014 graduating class of 484 had debts and the average was almost $163,000 — a higher average than all but three law schools in the country. In short, most of Florida Coastal’s students are leaving law school with a degree they can’t use, bought with a debt they can’t repay.

If this sounds like a scam, that’s because it is. Florida Coastal, in Jacksonville, is one of six for-profit law schools in the country that have been vacuuming up hordes of young people, charging them outrageously high tuition and, after many of the students fail to become lawyers, sticking taxpayers with the tab for their loan defaults.

Yet for-profit schools are not the only offenders. A majority of American law schools, which have nonprofit status, are increasingly engaging in such behavior, and in the process threatening the future of legal education.

Why? The most significant explanation is also the simplest — free money."

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Recommended read from Salon.com: Holocaust experts shame Netanyahu: "He is as bad a historian as he is a politician”

Recommended read from Salon.com: Holocaust experts shame Netanyahu: "He is as bad a historian as he is a politician”

"JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stirred controversy by intimating the Holocaust may not have been Adolf Hitler’s idea, and that in fact, he had been led down the garden path by the then Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a Palestinian.

Germany’s response: No, no, it was us.

“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews and Hajj Amin al-Husseini went to him and said if you expel them they’ll all come here. So what should I do with them? He asked. Burn them, he said.” These were Netanyahu’s words before the World Zionist Congress on Tuesday night."

Israeli military kills Palestinian kids, United Nations whitewashes it - Salon.com

Israeli military kills Palestinian kids, United Nations whitewashes it - Salon.com

"Last week, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon capitulated to pressure from the Obama administration and removed Israel’s armed forces from a child rights “blacklist.” The decision not only undermines a strong global tool necessary to protect children in armed conflict, but provides Israeli forces with tacit approval to continue committing egregious violations against children with impunity."

Why Palestinians Need an International Protection Force | The Nation

Why Palestinians Need an International Protection Force | The Nation

"It will ensure that lives are placed above politics, and defend a besieged population nearing its 50th year under brutal occupation."

"If elected president, Ben Carson won’t just continue to wage the perennially failing War on Drugs, like all of his predecessors in both parties since Richard Nixon—he would intensify the failed policy, because ..."

Ben Carson, Pot Prohibitionist - The Atlantic

"If elected president, Ben Carson won’t just continue to wage the perennially failing War on Drugs, like all of his predecessors in both parties since Richard Nixon—he would intensify the failed policy, because ... well, better to quote him directly.

Here is the hard-to-follow reasoning he offered in an interview with Glenn Beck:

Glenn Beck: Do you continue the War on Drugs?

Ben Carson: Absolutely.

Beck: You do?

Carson: I intensify it.

Beck: Let me ask you a question. I mean, it doesn’t seem to be working now.

Carson: Yeah, well, go down to the border in Arizona like I was a few weeks ago. I mean, it’s an open highway. And the federal government isn’t doing anything to stop it.

Beck: Okay. Legalize marijuana?

Carson: I disagree with it.

The implication seems to be that the federal government isn’t trying very hard to interdict drugs coming across the Mexican border, or that the double border-fence that Carson advocates would somehow make the War on Drugs a winning proposition."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Two Asian Americas - The New Yorker

The Two Asian Americas - The New Yorker. According to Erika Lee’s “The Making of Asian America,” published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act, signed into law on October 3, 1965, this swarm of circumstances undid Bagai. In the room in San Jose, he left a suicide note addressed, in an act of protest, to the San Francisco Examiner. The paper published it under the headline “Here’s Letter to the World from Suicide.” “What have I made of myself and my children?” Bagai wrote. “We cannot exercise our rights. Humility and insults, who is responsible for all this? Me and the American government. Obstacles this way, blockades that way, and bridges burnt behind.”

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Homophobia In Myanmar: The Cruel Legacy Of A Colonial-Era Law

Homophobia In Myanmar: The Cruel Legacy Of A Colonial-Era Law

"Like Malaysia, Myanmar -- also a former British colony -- still has Section 377 of the penal code on its books. The law criminalizes “carnal intercourse,” which includes same-sex intercourse. It is punishable by 10 years to life in prison. (Myanmar's famous politician and human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi has called for the repeal of Section 377 in the past.)"

Usher Ft. Nas & Bibi Bourelly - Chains [ NEW SONG 2015 ]

Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' Guzmán injured after narrowly evading capture | World news | The Guardian

Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' Guzmán injured after narrowly evading capture | World news | The Guardian

"Guzmán, the world’s most wanted narcotics baron, was injured in the leg and face when he was nearly cornered by police, the Mexican government said. "

'Driving is a privilege, voting is a right': Alabama license-office cuts bite deep | US news | The Guardian

'Driving is a privilege, voting is a right': Alabama license-office cuts bite deep | US news | The Guardian

"A series of recent government maneuvers in Alabama may prevent some citizens from voting across large swathes of the state, particularly in poverty-stricken Black Belt counties.

The first of the moves happened a year ago, when Alabama enacted a law requiring voters to present government-issued identification at the polls. The second happened two weeks ago, when the state shut down dozens of driver’s license-issuing offices, leaving 28 counties with no means of issuing the most common form of ID.

The Republican governor, Robert Bentley, says the office closures are a cost-cutting measure. Opponents say they are an effort toward disenfranchisement that harkens back to Alabama’s painful past. A half-century ago, Bloody Sunday in Selma led to the Voting Rights Act, removing obstacles for black voters."

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bringing the garage online in the CNET Smart Home - CNET



Bringing the garage online in the CNET Smart Home - CNET

Torture by another name: CIA used 'water dousing' on at least 12 detainees | Law | The Guardian

Torture by another name: CIA used 'water dousing' on at least 12 detainees | Law | The Guardian

"At least a dozen more people were subjected to waterboard-like tactics in CIAcustody than the agency has admitted, according to a fresh accounting of the US government’s most discredited form of torture.

The CIA maintains it only subjected three detainees to waterboarding. But agency interrogators subjected at least 12 others to a similar technique, known as “water dousing”, that also created a drowning sensation or chilled a person’s body temperature – sometimes through “immersion” in water, and often without use of a board."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ben Carson Is Wrong on Guns and the Holocaust

Ben Carson Is Wrong on Guns and the Holocaust

"TO anyone who studies Nazi Germany and the Holocaust for a living, as I do, Ben Carson’s statements about gun control are difficult to fathom. “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” the Republican presidential candidate said in a recent interview.

Mr. Carson’s argument, which he made in his new book “A More Perfect Union” and was asked to defend last week, is strangely ahistorical, a classic instance of injecting an issue that is important in our place and time into a historical situation where it was not seen as important. I can think of no serious work of scholarship on the Nazi dictatorship or on the causes of the Holocaust in which Nazi gun control measures feature as a significant factor. Neither does gun control figure in the collective historical memory of any group that was targeted by the Nazi regime, be they Jews, Gypsies, the disabled, gay people or Poles. It is simply a nonissue."

Ben Carson Is Wrong on Guns and the Holocaust - The New York Times

Ben Carson Is Wrong on Guns and the Holocaust - The New York Times

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

All In with Chris Hayes - If Americans cannot see that killing this 12 year old boy was unjustified how can I ever hope for justice? 400 years have passed and Euro-Americans still do not value "Black Lives". This is not a universal indictment of Euro-Americans but their inability to control or demand justice from their political leaders condemns them for the sin of inaction. They would not be passive if it was their children. Thank you Chris Hayes for consistently shining a light on this countries horrible human rights record.

Two reviews find that the officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice acted reasonably

Posted by All In with Chris Hayes on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

All In with Chris Hayes

NYTimes: Native Lives Matter, Too

NYTimes: Native Lives Matter, Too

"IN August 2010 John T. Williams, a homeless woodcarver of the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe who made his living selling his work near the Pike Place market in Seattle, was shot four times by a police officer within seconds of failing to drop the knife and piece of cedar he was carrying (Mr. Williams had mental health problems and was deaf in one ear). He died; the folding knife was found closed on the ground. The young police officer who shot Mr. Williams resigned, but he never faced criminal charges, even though the Seattle Police Department’s Firearms Review" Board called the shooting unjustified.

Inglis, Florida: home to the 1,000th US mass shooting since Sandy Hook

Inglis, Florida: home to the 1,000th US mass shooting since Sandy Hook

"Four people died following an attack in the tiny town of Inglis, Florida, on the same day as the massacre at an Oregon community college – but the shooting in the south-east failed to register on the national consciousness. "

Chinese activists urge Xi Jinping to learn from Magna Carta

Chinese activists urge Xi Jinping to learn from Magna Carta

"Civil rights campaigners hope arrival of ‘Great Charter’ of 1215 will act as reminder to president about abuses of state power. "

From suffering to detention: why does the US put asylum seekers behind bars?

From suffering to detention: why does the US put asylum seekers behind bars?

"Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers are languishing in US detention centers – completely removed from the political radar. Despite increased attention in recent years over the plight of undocumented people and the Obama administration’s deportation boom, detainees from Africa and the Middle East are often forgotten. The incarceration of some now even borders on indefinite detention."

Credit scores in America perpetuate racial injustice. Here's how

Credit scores in America perpetuate racial injustice. Here's how

"For decades, banks have systematically redlined black and Latino neighborhoods, refusing to make conventional loans or locate branches in non-white and lower-income areas, notwithstanding laws that obligate banks to meet the credit needs of all communities they serve, consistent with safe and sound banking operations. Thanks to financial services deregulation and the advent of asset-backed securitization, a multi-billion dollar “fringe” financial system has filled the void, characterized by high-cost, destabilizing products and services, from payday loans to check-cashers – which banks typically also own orfinance.

People and communities of color have beendisproportionately targeted for high-cost, predatory loans, intrinsically risky financial products that predictably lead to higher delinquency and default rates than non-predatory loans. As a consequence, black people and Latinos are more likely than their white counterparts to have damaged credit.

This firmly-entrenched two-tiered financial system has had devastating consequences for entire neighborhoods of color. Starting in the 1990s, financial institutions began flooding historically-redlined neighborhoods with predatory mortgages that ultimately led to the meltdownof the global economy. Waves of foreclosures hammered neighborhoods of color for more than a decade before the crash and black and Latino Americans bore the brunt of the ensuing foreclosure crisis, recession and spiking unemployment. Droves of people turned to high-rate credit cards to cover even basic expenses, contributing to the consumer debt crisis and spawning a bottom-feeding debt-buying industry that purchases old debts on the cheap and then uses the courts to extract judgmentsdisproportionately from people and communities of color." 

Tamir Rice family attorney says expert reports have 'tainted grand jury process'

Tamir Rice family attorney says expert reports have 'tainted grand jury process'

"Newly unearthed comments about deadly police shootings made by the two experts who defended an Ohio officer’s killing of Tamir Rice have intensified criticisms of prosecutors for selecting them to review the 12-year-old’s death.

One appeared to publicly cast doubt on whether the officer who killed Rice was at fault even before he was commissioned to write a report on the case, the Guardian has learned; the other saw her interpretation of a key US supreme court ruling on police shootings rejected by the Justice Department as too generous to officers.

Attorneys for the family of Rice, who was killed by police officer Timothy Loehmann while holding a pellet gun in a park in Cleveland in November last year, said the pair of external reports had “tainted the grand jury process” that is considering criminal charges against Loehmann."

Michael Eric Dyson spells it out for white people: Police won't 'kill yo...

Black Law Enforcement Groups Blast PBA Stance on Eric Garner Death NY1

Black Law Enforcement Organziations Denounce NYPD Commissioner Bratton

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Recommended read from Salon.com: The discomfiting truth about white feminism: Meryl Streep, Amy Poehler & the movement's long history of racial insensitivity

Recommended read from Salon.com: The discomfiting truth about white feminism: Meryl Streep, Amy Poehler & the movement's long history of racial insensitivity

"After a very unfortunate joke about pedophilia and Blue Ivy Carter in the opening show of a new series produced by Amy Poehler, I waited for white feminists to speak up. I waited for my feminist sisters who claim that feminism is indeed for more than just white women, to make the case about why the joke was in terrible taste, and that it would never have been made about a young white child. I waited for Amy Poehler, who I myself have genuinely admired for her politics and hilarious show "Parks & Rec," to say something. I waited for the think pieces by white feminists calling for a reckoning of the unexamined racism inherent in the joke. I waited. And waited. Instead, I saw a few pieces explaining why the joke was not actually the joke, and that it was intended to be that vile to make a point about what a terrible person the main character is. Of course the conversation on Black Twitter was vibrant and Black feminists wrote some powerful pieces. More than a month later, I have yet to see deeper analysis from white feminists, speaking to each other, about how inexcusable such a ‘joke’ really is and whether it would have happened if it was at the expense of a white toddler. (If you’ve seen such an analysis in response, please share in the comments or via Twitter!) Amy Poehler has not spoken publicly about it, nor has the actress who delivered the lines in the show, nor has anyone affiliated with Hulu, which hosts the series."

Being black can be bad for your health: Race, medicine and the cruelest unfairness of all

Recommended read from Salon.com: Being black can be bad for your health: Race, medicine and the cruelest unfairness of all

"Why do black people suffer more health problems than other groups? What do these challenges mean in their everyday lives? How do their struggles play out before a largely white medical community? How can we begin to solve these seemingly intractable problems? Do I have a special role to play as a black physician? Confronting these questions has led me on an intellectual and emotional journey, one that I’ve tried to capture in the pages that follow.

I’ve divided the book into three sections, corresponding to the different phases of my medical life. Part I surveys my medical school years. Part II explores my grueling twelve months of medical internship as a newly minted doctor. Part III examines my subsequent years in psychiatry training and in early clinical practice. Throughout each stage, race played a recurrent role, at turns predictable and unexpected, often annoying, sometimes disheartening, and occasionally uplifting. By sharing my story, as well as the stories of some of the patients I’ve met over the past fifteen years, I hope to humanize the dire statistics and bitter racial debates and paint a fuller picture of the experiences of black patients, as well as that of the black doctors who navigate between the black community and the predominately white medical world.

In tracing my journey along the intersection of race and medicine at the end of the twentieth century and the dawn of the twenty-first, I make no claim to speak for all black physicians or black patients, yet I am confident that much of what I have written will ring true to their varied experiences. By putting human faces on these serious dilemmas, I hope to contribute to a much-needed public dialogue on improving the health of black people. Jim’s fate—a young black person robbed of his future—is one that far too many of us suffer."

Why is none going to jail - Feds: Fifth Third Bank to pay $18M for overcharging blacks,... | www.ajc.com

Fifth Third Bank, a Cincinnati-based financial institution with branches in Georgia, has agreed to an $18 million settlement after being accused of charging blacks and Hispanics more than others for auto loans made through dealerships, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The banking company also agreed to change the way it prices its loans by limiting dealer markup to 125 basis points, or 1.25 percent, for loans of 60 months or less, and to 100 basis points, or 1 percent, for loans greater than 60 months. Previously, Fifth Third allowed dealers to raise interest rates as they saw fit.


Feds: Fifth Third Bank to pay $18M for overcharging blacks,... | www.ajc.com

Saturday, October 10, 2015

BREAKING: California Will Automatically Register Millions Of Voters | ThinkProgress

BREAKING: California Will Automatically Register Millions Of Voters | ThinkProgress

"On Saturday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that will allow the state to automatically register millions of residents to vote, using their DMV records.

Starting in 2016, every eligible California citizen who goes to a DMV office to get a driver’s license or renew one will be instantly registered to vote, unless he or she chooses to opt out.

“Citizens are currently forced to opt-in to their fundamental right to vote through registration,” said Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who wrote the bill and pushed for its passage. “We do not have to opt-in to other rights. We do not have to opt-in to free speech or due process. The right to vote should be no different.”

Freedom and the Veil - The New Yorker

"The current campaign controversy arose from the Conservative government’s decision to ban women from wearing the niqab—an Islamic veil that covers the face, but is not the full-body burka—at citizenship ceremonies. Harper has said that the practice of wearing the niqab is “offensive” and “not how we do things here.” A Pakistani-born woman named Zunera Ishaq challenged the ban in 2014, and the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeals have now both ruled in her favor. Harper’s government has said that it intends to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. The case has become a major campaign issue. Canada, in some ways even more visibly than the United States, is of course a nation of immigrants, whose numbers are swelling all the time."

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Recommended read from Salon.com: What happened when brave gunman-charger Ben Carson was actually held up at gunpoint?

"The retired neurosurgeon is apparently a fan of the "do as I say I would do, not as I actually did" school of punditry, as he related to Hunter what happened in a Baltimore Popeye's when a robber "stuck a gun in [his] ribs."

"I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye’s organization," he said. "Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs."

Carson calmly recounted how he calmly responded, "I just said, 'I believe you want the guy behind the counter.'" In other words, instead of charging the gunman, as Carson recommends other Americans do, the good doctor directed the man to the likely teenage, certainly minimum-wage-earning employee."

Dumb, dumb and dumber.

Home Depot customer with a concealed handgun opened fire on shoplifting suspect

Apparently a Michigan woman with a conceal-carry permit and a loaded handgun thought it was her duty to step in and help a Home Depot employee stop a suspected shoplifter. Did she follow their car? Nope. She opened fired on the suspected shoplifter's SUV as they drove out of the parking lot"

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Doctors Without Borders: we received no advance warning of US airstrike

"The US military never gave Doctors Without Borders prior notification of a deadly airstrike on its field hospital in Kunduz, the aid group said on Wednesday, in an apparent violation of the Pentagon’s explicit 2015 instructions on the rules of war."

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The Young Survivors of Boko Haram - The New Yorker

"In Nigeria, what happened on the night of April 14th, 2014, can seem like a fever dream, a surreal nightmare that, as soon as you wake up, lingers uncomfortably, poking at the edges of your waking life. In the early hours of the 15th, members of the Boko Haram terrorist group arrived at a girls’ boarding school in a hamlet called Chibok, in the northeastern state of Borno. Chibok residents saw them coming and warned the military hours before the attack, but no help came. By the time Boko Haram was done at the school, they had taken more than three hundred girls, looted food and supplies, and lit the place on fire. In the days that followed, fifty-seven girls escaped, doing things that their young bodies were not designed to do: jumping out of giant trucks, running through forests without rest for hours on end, picking through tangles of brush and trees after being herded around like animals. The rest of the girls—more than two hundred—are unaccounted for; Boko Haram propaganda videos allege that they have been paired off to fighters as sex slaves, or are being used as fighters and suicide bombers themselves. The mass kidnapping marked the first time that many foreigners, and many Nigerians for that matter, had woken up to Boko Haram’s reign of terror in Nigeria’s north, and the ways in which the group had disrupted, stolen, and ended innocent lives.

How to Reduce the Gun Carnage - The New York Times

"To the Editor:

Re “Killers Fit a Profile, but So Do Many Others” (front page, Oct. 4):

James Alan Fox, a criminologist, is correct in saying, “We can’t round up all the people who scare us.” But we can do a lot more to sever the link between them and easy access to guns.

Most mass killers obtained guns legally, because of the sieve-like national background check system — unlike the system in New York. To receive my pistol permit, I was asked about my employment and other history, and I submitted the names of four character references who completed multi-page questionnaires probing the kind of person I was, including my “demeanor or behavior.”

All this information and more was submitted to law enforcement and a county judge (I was also interviewed). They could decline my application if the information suggested that I was troubled. Too bad most states don’t conduct real background checks.

ROBERT J. SPITZER

Cortland, N.Y.

The writer, a professor of political science at SUNY Cortland, is the author of five books on gun policy."

NYTimes: The Aftermath of a Deadly Airstrike in Afghanistan

"Two things are known for certain about the deadly American airstrike on the hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, run by Doctors Without Borders. One is that the attack killed 22 people, including 12 staff members. The other is that an initial Pentagon statement saying the strike may have caused “collateral damage” was outrageous and dehumanizing.

Beyond that, there are many unanswered questions and much confusion about how the hospital, a major health care facility in Afghanistan’s northeastern region, came to be a target.

Gen. John Campbell, who commands American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, acknowledged at a news conference on Monday that the airstrike by an American gunship on Saturday had “accidentally struck” civilians and promised a thorough investigation. That is not sufficient. In addition, an independent panel should quickly be empowered to obtain all the information needed to produce a credible conclusion about what went so horribly wrong."

Monday, October 05, 2015

Recommended read from Salon.com: We have committed a war crime: "Patients were burning in their beds"

"Doctors Without Borders says it is under "the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed" after a U.S.-led NATO coalition bombed its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

The aid organization, referred to internationally in French as Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF), asserted that it "condemn[s] this attack, which constitutes a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law."

The U.S. military's version of the story behind the bombing is full of holes, and constantly changing. After launching airstrikes on Kunduz, which has recently seen an insurgency by the Taliban, on Saturday morning, NATO said its bombing "may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility."

At least 23 people people were killed in the airstrikes, including 13 staff members and 10 patients, three of whom were children. A minimum of 37 more were wounded. A hospital nurse said there "are no words for how terrible it was," noting "patients were burning in their beds."

Prison vs. Harvard in an Unlikely Debate - WSJ

NAPANOCH, N.Y.—On one side of the stage at a maximum-security prison here sat three men incarcerated for violent crimes.
On the other were three undergraduates from Harvard College.
After an hour of fast-moving debate on Friday, the judges rendered their verdict.
The inmates won.
The audience burst into applause. That included about 75 of the prisoners’ fellow students at the Bard Prison Initiative, which offers a rigorous college experience to men at Eastern New York Correctional Facility, in the Catskills.


Prison vs. Harvard in an Unlikely Debate - WSJ

Why is it so hard to hire black police officers? BBC News

On Guns, Fear Is Winning - The New York Times

..."When I was growing up in the rural South, boys had rifles. There was nothing odd about it. Every boy in wood shop made a gun rack.



A rifle wasn’t a weapon as much as a tool. People hunted. They raised and slaughtered food animals. Rifles were used to keep the snakes out of the grass and the vermin out of the garden (though surely there must have been more humane ways to do this). They were poor folks’s fireworks on special occasions like New Year’s.



And they were a guard against intruders — though those intruders were more an idea than a reality in those parts — who might threaten life or property. Law enforcement officials were scarce, and 911 was nonexistent.



But that seems to me another time and place. There didn’t exist the fear and paranoia that grips so many now when it comes to gun ownership. And there wasn’t the fetish for military-style weapons and armor-piercing bullets.



And as I have mentioned before, my oldest brother is a gun collector. He is a regular at the gun shows, buying and selling, but even he talks about a sense of unease at those shows as people engage in what can only be described as panic buying and ammunition hoarding.



These people are afraid. They are afraid of a time conservative media and the gun industry has convinced them is coming when sales of weapons, particularly some types of weapons, will be restricted or forbidden. They are afraid of growing populations of people they don’t trust. Some are even afraid that a time will come when they will have to defend themselves against the government itself.



Unfortunately this fear is winning, as many Americans think crime is up, even though it’s down. This fear is winning as massacres, and the gun violence discussions that follow, don’t lead to fewer gun sales, but more. This fear is winning, following continued violence by antigovernment militias and hate groups.



Fear is winning as there are now close to as many guns in this country as people — with the gun industry producing millions more each year.



We have reached our supersaturation point as a culture. And with that many guns in circulation, too many will invariably make their way into the hands of people with ill intent.



But for how long we are willing to let fear overpower reason? We have to decide if the positives of having a gun culture outweigh the negatives.



Do we want a society in which some 33,000 people in America lose their lives to gun violence each year and more than twice as many are injured by guns? Do we want a society in which mass shootings are routine?



If we do, well, we have it. But if we don’t, and I believe that most of us don’t, then we have to start thinking about ways to not only keep guns out of the wrong hands, but also about how we slow or reverse the proliferation of guns.



If there is one thing that my brother’s collection has taught me, it is that guns outlive their owners. These hundreds of millions of guns will most likely be part of our society for decades, and some even for centuries, regardless of what laws we pass now. That is something of which we should truly be afraid."...



On Guns, Fear Is Winning - The New York Times