This is a personal blog. I talk sense and nonsense.
Install Theme
peterfeld:

Someone at the Associated Press must have come in to work still drunk from last night because they accidentally tweeted out the truth, but the mistake was quickly discovered and they apologized.

It’s still up

peterfeld:

Someone at the Associated Press must have come in to work still drunk from last night because they accidentally tweeted out the truth, but the mistake was quickly discovered and they apologized.

It’s still up

(via cognitivedissonance)

NY Times Writer Admits He Made Big Michael Brown Mistake →

invisiblelad:

(Huffington Post) The writer of a much-maligned New York Times article about Michael Brown admitted on Monday that he had made a mistake when he described the slain teenager as “no angel.”

Those two words that John Eligon chose, along with a series of of descriptions about Brown’s “dabbling” with drugs, alcohol and rap music, set off a scorching round of criticism for the way the paper had characterized Brown. The Times dug an even deeper hole for itself by writing a concurrent article about Darren Wilson, the man who killed Brown, in which Wilson was described as a “well-mannered, relatively soft-spoken, even bland person.” Many said that the contrast seemed to fit a pattern in which black victims of crime are maligned in the media.

Lawrence O’Donnell’s send up of this article is freaking legendary, people. 

Please read this piece to get some historical context:

Shortly before the Civil War, many white writers—especially abolitionists—began anxiously debating whether black children who died could become angels, and if so, whether they needed to become white first. As I write in my book, Racial Innocence, the 1862 abolitionist story “Poor Little Violet,” by Lynde Palmer, included a very disturbing scene in which Violet, an enslaved girl, discusses death and angelhood with a white slaveholding girl named Carrie. Violet asks,

“[W]hen we goes to Canaan, that old Sambo sings about, may I be your little slave then, Miss Carrie, ’cause you’s allus so kind?”

“I don’t think there will be any slaves there,” said Carrie, slowly, pondering over the matter.

“Why, what will the black people do, then?” cried Violet, with curious round eyes.

“Maybe,” replied Carrie hesitatingly, “maybe there won’t be any black people—you know, Violet, our bodies are covered up in the ground,”—Violet shivered,—“but our souls go to heaven, and they must all be white.”

“All of ’em?” asked Violet, eagerly.

“Yes, mamma told me that no soul can go till it is washed white in Jesus’ blood.”

“And can my soul be white?” whispered Violet.

“Yes,” said Carrie, “if you ask God.” (Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights, p. 59)

The Times's reference to Michael Brown as “no angel” is so deeply hurtful because it extends a historical libel that African Americans, and African American children in particular, cannot be innocent. As the slaveholder Carrie tells Violet, to be an angel is to be white. And in this white-authored text—which was intended to critique slavery—a black girl joyously receives this information with hope that she can shed her blackness, become white, and become an angel.

(Source: quickhits, via sociolab)

Don’t lose too much weight now… I like my girls chubby.

Actual quote from a male Senator to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (via micdotcom)

But there’s no need for feminism now.

(via cactustreemotel)

I knew a professor at an Ivy who was very blatantly sexually harassed by a famous emeritus professor at a faculty party. Ask any woman in any field and she’ll have dozens of similar stories.

(via aka14kgold)

California Takes a Stand Against Gay and Trans Panic Defenses in Criminal Cases →

mickyalexander:

Yay :)

(Source: projectqueer)

Here’s some fantastic news for your Friday: On Thursday, the California Senate unanimously approved a new bill that defines sexual consent as a firm “yes” rather than a lack of “no.”

micdotcom:

This is a big win for anti-rape activists, many of whom have been touting the necessity of an “affirmative consent” standard for years. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has the next month to sign the bill into law. If he does, schools across the state would be required to define consent before engaging in sexual activity as an “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” or risk losing state financial aid funding.

(via wretchedoftheearth)

questionall:

Thanks to US Uncut for this! BREAKING: Detroit’s unelected emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, has just relinquished control of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, which is now back in the hands of the people. It’s expected the mayor and city council will approve a water affordability plan that caps a household’s water bill at no more than 3 percent of their income. Read more: http://abcn.ws/XavyWZ Thanks to groups like the Detroit Water Brigade for the weeks of ongoing pressure to stop the shutoffs! Direct action gets the goods. Read their statement on this victory here: http://bit.ly/1o9yqbT

questionall:

Thanks to US Uncut for this! BREAKING: Detroit’s unelected emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, has just relinquished control of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, which is now back in the hands of the people. It’s expected the mayor and city council will approve a water affordability plan that caps a household’s water bill at no more than 3 percent of their income. Read more: http://abcn.ws/XavyWZ Thanks to groups like the Detroit Water Brigade for the weeks of ongoing pressure to stop the shutoffs! Direct action gets the goods. Read their statement on this victory here: http://bit.ly/1o9yqbT

spillboy:

More proof that Paul Ryan is a despicable human being.

This is actually consistent with Ryan’s philosophy that no one should be compelled via taxation to help others. He believes this should be wholly voluntary. 
Of course, voluntarism is an inefficient, inadequate method to address big, entrenched, systemic problems. People suffering from debilitating conditions should not have to come up with cute ad campaigns or have photogenic advocates in order to attract adequate public interest and funding.

spillboy:

More proof that Paul Ryan is a despicable human being.

This is actually consistent with Ryan’s philosophy that no one should be compelled via taxation to help others. He believes this should be wholly voluntary.

Of course, voluntarism is an inefficient, inadequate method to address big, entrenched, systemic problems. People suffering from debilitating conditions should not have to come up with cute ad campaigns or have photogenic advocates in order to attract adequate public interest and funding.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

How many of these police killings are there? →

Apparently, no one has any idea. And when an enterprising reporter attempted to find out, it turned out it was nearly impossible:

“The biggest thing I’ve taken away from this project is something I’ll never be able to prove, but I’m convinced to my core: The lack of such a database is intentional. No government—not the federal government, and not the thousands of municipalities that give their police forces license to use deadly force—wants you to know how many people it kills and why.”

[…]

Ponder this: our government is systematically collecting vast amounts of data and information on US citizens and foreigners around the world and analyzing it for threats. But it is not systematically collecting or analyzing information of US citizens killed by government authorities and actively blocks citizens who try.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

(Source: questionall)

Countries Criticized by US Turn Tables Over Ferguson Crisis →

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

Police aggression. Detention of journalists. A call for respect for minority populations. They’re the type of issues the United States is usually scolding other countries about. This time, however, the criticism is coming the other direction.

Iran’s Grand Ayatollah tweeted about the “brutal treatment” of black people in the United States using the #Ferguson hashtag, China’s official mouthpiece wrote about America’s “human rights flaw,” and the Egyptian government called for “restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion.”

The condemnation is not only limited to countries who may be gloating about the chance to slam the United States about its internal affairs for a change.

On Monday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, through a spokesman, called on authorities “to ensure that the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are protected.”

“He calls on all to exercise restraint, for law enforcement officials to abide by U.S. and international standards in dealing with demonstrators,” Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman said.

Amnesty International, the global human rights organization, said it had sent observers to Ferguson. It’s the first time the group has deployed such a team within the United States.

The Soviets used to do this all the time.

(via abagond)

Libertarians are the new confederates

And here’s another chapter in the perennial debate about conservatives: stupid or evil?

Paul Ryan offered his opinion on federal intervention in Ferguson:

"There is no problem with the federal government having a role," he said. "But in all of these things, local control, local government, local authorities who have the jurisdiction, who have the expertise, who are actually there are the people who should be in the lead."

He said that today. Has he literally been hiding under a rock?

  • Missouri Governor Jay Nixon took his sweet time before doing anything about Ferguson. When he did choose to act (by imposing a curfew), he made things even worse. Local leadership!
  • Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder said today that he wants “Anglo American justice" for Ferguson. Local solutions!
  • Ferguson’s mayor, James Knowles, has denied there is or ever has been a “racial divide” in his city. Local insight!
  • A Missouri GOP official has described the effort to register more voters in Ferguson as “disgusting" and "inappropriate". Local politics!

At this point, the only reasonable conclusion is that the local authorities in Missouri and Ferguson are clueless and repulsive. Yet Paul Ryan thinks they should be given the lead to resolve a situation they themselves have created and escalated.

So….is Paul Ryan a dumbass?

I don’t think Paul Ryan is a dumbass, but he often sounds like one. In this instance, he’s chosen to ignore U.S. history and everything that has happened in Ferguson lately because it is evidence that not only conflicts with his ludicrous political philosophy, but destroys it.

But I don’t think it’s just a case of cognitive dissonance. No one who remains a libertarian past the age of 19 or so can be trusted because, in this country, quite a few self-described “libertarians” would be better described as neo-Confederates. Many of these same ‘libertarians’ are even bringing back antebellum classics like nullification.

No, Paul Ryan isn’t a dumbass. Paul Ryan knows what he’s doing.

huffingtonpost:

When The Media Treats White Suspects And Killers Better Than Black Victims

On the afternoon of Aug. 9, a police officer fatally shot an unarmed, black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. Details remain in dispute. Eyewitnesses have said that Brown was compliant with police and was shot while he had his hands up. Police maintain that the 18-year-old had assaulted an officer and was reaching for the officer’s gun.

For more headlines go here.

(via heyreadabook)

Terrible Florida Mom Arrested For Leaving Kids At Park While Getting Them Food →

Let’s make sure we have the law straight: If you’re a poor mother, you can be arrested for child neglect if you leave your kids alone while you go to a food bank so you can feed them, go to a job interview (so you can feed them), or work (so you can feed them).

These arrests are part of the terrible trap we’ve set for impoverished parents:

In the mid-1990s, President Clinton signed welfare reform legislation into law that changed welfare in America profoundly. One of the major changes welfare reform brought about was the work requirement. Now, even women with young children were required to be working, or looking for work, in order to receive benefits. In a radio address after signing the bill, Clinton promised that if poor people went to work, “we will protect the guarantees of health care, nutrition, and child care, all of which are critical to helping families move from welfare to work.”

We broke that promise. State and federal childcare spending last year fell to the lowest level since 2002. Much of the money available for childcare comes to states through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or today’s version of welfare, but TANF hasn’t been adjusted for inflation since 1996. It’s lost a third of its value since then. The money spent on childcare has declined from a high of $4 billion in 2000 to $2.6 billion in 2013. That means fewer and fewer children get subsidized care. The number of children served by subsidies is at the lowest level since 1998. In [Shanesha] Taylor’s home state of Arizona, childcare spending has been axed by 40 percent, dropping 33,000 kids. In [Debra] Harrell’s, it was cut by more than 30 percent, dropping 2,500 children.

We’ve also taken the rug out from under any mothers who might need assistance because they can’t find work or the work doesn’t pay enough. In 1996, welfare reached 72 percent of poor families with children. That had dropped to a mere 26 percent by 2012.

So when a homeless mother needs to go to a job interview or a mother making less than $8 an hour needs to go to work, what options have we given them? Few, if any.

Military weaponry makes a bad situation much worse, but the core problem is still police forces that have nothing but contempt for the populations they’re supposed to “protect and serve.” By all means criticize the hardware — but the real problem isn’t going to go away if the use of that hardware is dialed back, because cops will treat civilians they despise with contempt using whatever’s at hand. And if Paul’s fellow libertarians get us talking almost exclusively about gear and government, then they’ll have successfully diverted the discussion onto their turf, for their ends. We mustn’t let that happen.

Steve M., reminding us that Amadou Diallo and Rodney King were brutalized with what were basically glorified sticks. The pricey military gear makes it easier for the police to monitor and attack larger numbers of civilians at one time, but it’s the institution itself—its bigotry, authoritarianism, and lack of accountability to the public it professes to serve—that is the real problem.

Man Dies After Being Shot by Police in South L.A. →

boygeorgemichaelbluth:

jesus fucking christ

"a struggle ensued" = pig speak for CYA

(Source: ethiopienne, via aka14kgold)