Comedian Aamer Rahman gives an excellent explanation of “reverse racism:…
Milbank makes an interesting point. The number of Veterans in Congress has reached historic lows. Historically that is when Congress goes out and does something stupid- like try and get us into an unnecessary war based on their ignorance. They also tend to discount Diplomacy – much as the current list of rightwing bozos tries to discredit the accomplishments of President Obama, and get us into war serially with Iran, Syria, Libya or anyone else who strikes their fancy.
Milbank’s proposal is that everyone serve in the Military. I don’t think that is practical. The last thing American needs is a standing army of 12 million. Besides the cost of supporting that – the lure of misusing and abusing that Military by sabre rattling morons in Congress, or if (heaven forbid) another Bushit is elected President is much to strong. I would propose instead a Civilian Corps making up at least half of those draftees. It is not a new idea, but it would require the sort of dedication to rebuilding he country’s aging and shattered infrastructure the sort of zero sum tax break politics of the right caused in the first place.
The issue being, would a national program to rebuild our bridges, national parks, byways, and cities pay an economic dividend in terms of return on investment. I believe a case for such can be made but it takes the sort of long range foresight that hasn’t been our leaders strong point since Raygun.
At this time of Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the U.S. military — not just for the usual reason that it protects us from our foes but also because it has the potential to save us from ourselves.
As I make my rounds each day in the capital, chronicling our leaders’ plentiful foibles, failings, screw-ups, inanities, outrages and overall dysfunction, I’m often asked if there’s anything that could clean up the mess.
My usual answer is a shrug and an admission that there’s no silver bullet. There are many possibilities — campaign spending limits, term limits, nonpartisan primaries, nonpartisan redistricting, a third party — but most aren’t politically or legally feasible, might not make much of a difference or, as with Harry Reid’s rewriting of Senate rules, have the potential to make things even worse.
But one change, over time, could reverse the problems that have built up over the past few decades: We should mandate military service for all Americans, men and women alike, when they turn 18. The idea is radical, unlikely and impractical — but it just might work.
There is no better explanation for what has gone wrong in Washington in recent years than the tabulation done every two years of how many members of Congress served in the military.
A Congressional Quarterly count of the current Congress finds that just 86 of the 435 members of the House are veterans, as are only 17 of 100 senators, which puts the overall rate at 19 percent. This is the lowest percentage of veterans in Congress since World War II, down from a high of 77 percent in 1977-78, according to the American Legion. For the past 21 years, the presidency has been occupied by men who didn’t serve or, in the case of George W. Bush, served in a capacity designed to avoid combat.
It’s no coincidence that this same period has seen the gradual collapse of our ability to govern ourselves: a loss of control over the nation’s debt, legislative stalemate and a disabling partisanship. It’s no coincidence, either, that Americans’ approval of Congresshas dropped to just 9 percent, the lowest since Gallup began asking the question 39 years ago.
Because so few serving in politics have worn their country’s uniform, they have collectively forgotten how to put country before party and self-interest. They have forgotten a “cause greater than self,” and they have lost the knowledge of how to make compromises for the good of the country. Without a history of sacrifice and service, they’ve turned politics into war.
Compulsory military service, as old as Athenian democracy and common in countries such as Israel that live under threat, has been in decline in Western Europe since the end of the Cold War. But an exception, Switzerland, is instructive: On Sept. 22, the Swiss voted 73 percent to 27 percent to keep their conscription army. It has less to do with security than with national identity in a land of 26 cantons and four official languages. The government argued that military service teaches people “how to live and work with compatriots from all regions, all linguistic groups and all social strata,” which “contributes enormously to the national cohesion.”
In Switzerland, the sons of bankers and farmers alike do basic training for several months and then are recalled to service for brief periods. But the structure is less important than the service itself. My former colleague Tom Ricks proposes bringing back the draft in the United States but allowing for a civilian national service option — teaching, providing day care and the like — for those who don’t want to join the military.
There’s no mass movement for mandatory service, but the idea has gained a diverse group of supporters, including retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y). Gun-rights groups would cheer an armed citizenry, and an article published by the libertarian Cato Institute argued that compulsory service “can be a pillar of freedom.”
The costs would be huge. But so would the benefits: overcoming growing social inequality without redistributing wealth; making future leaders, unlike today’s “chicken hawks,” disinclined to send troops into combat without good reason; putting young Americans to work and giving them job and technology skills; and, above all, giving these young Americans a shared sense of patriotism and service to the country.
It would take some time, but this new generation of Americans, once again asking what they can do for their country, would undo much of the damage today’s crop of self-interested leaders is doing to our politics.
Her real name is Lilly Singh, her Youtube name is !!Superwoman!!, and she hosts a Youtube page here. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr…
This little guy in diapers has a friend for life…
I am not a big dog fan, but it is mostly because with my lifestyle I don’t have the time to take proper care of a mutt, with travel and variable hours.
If you are a fan of pups… There are more pics here.
Geez, wearing you hair longer is no longer solely the province of us “old guys” who lived through the period when they were de rigeur from a fashion sense…
Eat your heart out Bieber!
TIME magazine named Dante de Blasio the sixth most influential teen of 2013, crowning him New York City’s “latest fashion icon” due to his “now-iconic” afro.
Dante even beat out Malala Yousafzai, Justin Bieber, and Malia Obama.
Back in August, the 15-year-old son of mayor-elect Bill de Blasio appeared in a now famous campaign ad in which he spoke against stop and frisk and the Bloomberg administration. The ad breathed new life into de Blasio’s campaign, and thrust Dante, and his hairdo, into the national spotlight.
Dante’s afro even garnered the praise and envy of President Obama.
The Greatest ‘Fro of all time?
That would have to be Angela Davis…
In the Southern United States, if your family arrived in America before the Revolutionary War… There is about a 30% chance you have black ancestry. Roughly 50 million “whites” in this country, wouldn’t qualify under the”One Drop Rule” of bygone days.
But this one is funny!
A white supremacist behind an initiative to turn a North Dakota town into a “white enclave” received some shocking news — he’s not 100 percent white.
Craig Cobb, a 62-year-old man who has aimed to start a community for white supremacists and neo-Nazis, received some news that he wasn’t too happy about, although we must admit, it gave us quite a chuckle.
During an appearance on The Trisha Goddard Show, Cobb was given the results of a DNA Diagnostics test and found out he is 14 percent Sub-Saharan African, and it was all caught on camera.
Check this 12 year old out! She has formed a coalition to repeal the onerous voting restrictions implemented by Tea Bagged Republicans in North Carolina, and to get young folks to vote. Her name is Madison Kimrey, an she does one heck of a speech.
The Rethugs in North Carolina have voted to eliminate the ability of teens to pre-register to vote, while getting a Driver’s License at 16, so they can vote when they turn 18. By doing this and raising the bar to College Students voting, they eliminate one of the groups which tends to vote Democrat, or at least anti-Tea Party. This is part of the Rethugly Voter Suppression effort, which includes Voter ID Laws.
Filed under: The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life | Tagged: Madison Kimrey, New Jim Crow, North Carolina, pre-registration, Republican, suppression, tea party, voting, youth, youth vote | 2 Comments »
Like the Holocaust Deniers scattered around the world in anti-Semitic clusters, America has its own peculiar breed of Denier of the unconscionable – The advocates of the Southern Myth.
Recognizing what they were doing as slavers was morally unconscionable from a Judeo Christian basis, the slavers sought absolution through first, perverting their religion to justify slavery, and second by attaching themselves to Chivalrous traditions creating a “Genteel” societal veneer. Indeed, in my State of Virginia Thomas Jefferson’s University, UVa – adopted the Cavalier as the school symbol. That wasn’t just because most slaveholders were Crown Loyalists during the Revolutionary War. Attaching themselves to the English Cavaliers was an attempt to gloss over, and add class to an evil society. No different than the Drug Lords of recent vintage using their ill gotten gains to project an image of respectability.
Post Civil War, this shifted into manufacturing a society’s existence under slavery which never existed. The brutality visited upon the slaves to force them to obey, which included torture, systematic rape of women and children, and murder became the “Good Old Days” of a slightly decadent but otherwise genteel society. The Civil War became the “War of the States” supporting the fiction that each and every Southern State’s Secession Articles didn’t list slavery as the “States Right” they were fighting for. These same stawarts brought America Segregation and Jim Crow.
The modern incarnation of this “Southern psychosis” is the Tea Party, the grandchild of the Second Klan of the 20′s, American Nazi Party of the 40′s, and Dixiecrats of the 50′s and 60′s. Absorbing the Republican matra of blaming the victim. Like their poor, landless ancestors who marched off to be maimed and killed to [protect the rights of wealthy slave owners, today's conservative confederate malcontents support the rights of the elite right who have eviscerated the American Dream, sold their jobs overseas, and near destroyed the American Middle Class since Raygun. All under the banner of maintaining their fictitious racial superiority. It is OK with the modern Tea Bagger to take Food Stamps away from the poor, using much the same justification of the rapist that the "bitch deserved it". It is OK to harass the poor, even though the economic condition of many Tea Parties would place them among the "white trash" - because in a country which has legislatively discriminated, at the Tea Bagger's ancestors demand, against minorities for generation - a higher percentage of minorities are poor. Despite class mythology, the only reason many of these white Tea Baggers aren't scions of society has nothing to do with discrimination - and everything to do with their own personal, generational failures. no one has held them back, except their own ignorance and racism.
“Twelve Years a Slave,” a movie based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841, is a powerful antidote to the Tea Party’s poisonous nostalgia for the era of “states’ rights” and “nullificationism,” which became code words for protecting the “liberty” of Southern whites to own African-Americans.
The movie, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup, reveals how lofty phrases about “freedom” often meant their opposite as Southern politicians developed an Orwellian skill for weaving noble-sounding “principles” into a cloak for covering up the unjustifiable.
And, for too many generations, it worked. Americans have romanticized the antebellum South, seeing it through the rosy haze of “Gone with the Wind” or learning from school history books that most slave-owners were kindly and paternalistic masters. Even today many Americans tell themselves that slavery wasn’t all that bad. To burnish their pride in the never-to-be-criticized USA, they whitewash one of the nation’s greatest crimes, the enslavement of millions of people based on the color of their skin. (more…)
Filed under: Stupid Tea Bagger Tricks, The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life | Tagged: 12 years a slave, civil war, condederate, constitution, Jim Crow, law, Racism, racist, Republican, slavery, southern myth, Tea Party race | Leave a Comment »
Evidence that the Tea Bagger types haven’t quite reduced America to Third World status…Yet.
The privately owned Washington company that last year began lobbying to build a high-speed rail line between Washington and New York has lined up some prominent names to press its ambitious plan to improve congestion in the Northeast corridor.
The Northeast Maglev, the 25-employee company founded in 2010, is looking to develop a high-speed magnetic levitation system that would bring passengers from Washington to Baltimore in 15 minutes and to New York in 60 minutes, at speeds of 311 miles an hour.
The company, which according to its chairman has raised $50 million in private funding, plans to announce today it has enlisted several of the region’s business and political leaders to join its advisory board: Under Armour founder and chief executive Kevin Plank; former chief executive of Northwest Airlines Doug Steenland; former transportation secretaries Mary Peters and Rodney Slater (now a lobbyist at Patton Boggs); and George Pataki, Christine Todd Whitman and Ed Rendell, former governors of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively.
The board is being led by former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, who is now an adviser at DLA Piper, the international law firm that the Northeast Maglev has hired to lobby on its behalf before Congress.
The rail line would include stops at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. The project is unrelated to Amtrak’s $151 billion plan to develop a high-speed rail system — that would go from Washington to New York in 94 minutes — in the Northeast corridor by 2040.
The Northeast Maglev chairman Wayne Rogers said his firm does not have a cost estimate for the entire project but that the Washington-Baltimore leg would cost at least $10 billion. He said he expects it to take at least three years to navigate the regulatory, environmental and planning process and another 10 years for construction. The company is working closely with engineers from Central Japan Railway, which operates the bullet train in Japan.
What it is beginning to look like is the high end store section in NYC has been the victim of some heavy duty professional shoplifters. Whether because of budget concerns or stupidity, the Security Chief there went out on the cheap and hired George Zimmerman Security…
Resulting in a solution more expensive than having someone stand at the door to hand out free bags to the shoplifters.
Barneys isn’t the only store being accused of racial discrimination. Now, Macy’s has been slapped with a lawsuit implicating the luxury store of racial profiling.
The New York Post reports that actor Robert Brown, who’s most known for his starring role opposite Sean Connery in the film “Finding Forrester,” has filled a civil suit for an unspecified sum against the luxury retail store and the New York Police Department, citing that he was unlawfully searched by undercover police officers on June 8, 2013.
The 29 year old, who is black, was stopped after making a purchase at the Sunglass Hut store located inside Macy’s flagship location in New York’s Herald Square.
According to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit, Brown presented his ID to the cops but “was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.” The Brooklyn resident says he was then arrested and detained by cops for over an hour before finally being released without any charges.
This isn’t the first time Macy’s has dealt with a racial discrimination lawsuit. In 2005,the company paid New York state $600,000 to settle a complaint that its New York department stores were racially profiling shoppers and unlawful handcuffing them while they were being detained on suspicion of shoplifting.
This one a brouhaha between a Korean Tobacco Company and the Africa Tobacco Producers Council.
Not a good job of winning friends and influencing. Obviously the Korean company didn’t “get” how the imagery might be insulting…
Nice to know Americans aren’t the only idiots out there.
One has to wonder though – if this company’s Marcom department all got their degrees from one of the private conservative colleges in the US. I mean – most real colleges talk about things like diversity and cultural sensitivity as part of Marketing 101, which are verboten topics in the conservative universe. And is one of the reasons conservatives constantly make complete asses of themselves when talking to anyone except over 60 year old white men. Ergo, if I want to market a product to any audience which includes Japanese…
I really don’t want to use the racist imagery common in the US during WWII
The part of this which is disappointing is that this sort of thing has been the subject of criticism of Asian Marketing before in China and Malaysia
Following cries of racism, South Korea’s largest tobacco company is pulling an advertisement for its new “This Africa” cigarettes.
The KT&G ads featuring a monkey dressed as a human were launched a month ago to promote the brand’s new “This Africa” cigarettes, according to the Agence France-Presse. The ads to promote cigarettes dried and roasted in “traditional” African style showed monkeys dressed as humans, tagged with the slogan “Africa is coming!”
Zambian Mirriam Simasiku, an African woman living in Seoul, told the Korea Times she found the ads extremely offensive.
“According to those images, Africans are just a bunch of uneducated monkeys,” she told the publication. “We as Africans are still a minority against a multitude of pure Koreans with no law to protect us. By the way, it is named This Africa, which is inappropriate since no one thought of making any connection.”
Hope to see a lot more of this happening around the country…
A Republican Judge from San Antonio, Texas, has announced he is quitting the GOP and will seek re-election as a Democrat, saying that he can no longer be part of political party whose identity is based on hate, bigotry and destroying people’s lives.
Bexar County Judge Carlo R. Key made his announcement in a YouTube campaign video, where the image shifts between the judge sitting at his bench and screenshots of Republicans—from Sen. Teed Cruz to state politicians—boosting their agenda or career by harming others.
Key’s words speak for themselves. Here’s a transcript, where he ends by urging others who share his moderate temperament and respectful demeanor to join him.
I have tried to live a life of principles. These principles have been shaped by mi familia, my community and my country. In fact, it is my dedication to these principles which has lead me to the law in the first place and has guided me to becoming a judge. These values are simple. I believe that justice demands fairness. It demands careful and intelligent probing of evidence. And above all else, justice can only be served without prejudice toward race, color, creed or whom you choose to love.
These principles have served as the bedrock upon which my rulings have been made. They are also my driving force. That is why I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake. I have not left the Republican Party. It left me.
I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their ecomonic status. I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of 100s of 1000s of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that will provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.
That is why I am announcing that I am now running for re-election as a Democratic candidate for County Court of Law 11 in the 2014 elections. My principles have led me to the Democratic Party. I can only hope that more people of principle will follow me. If you believe these values are your values, then I respectfully ask you to join me and let’s work together to keep dignity, fairness and respect for rule of law in our county courts.
Texas Democrats welcomed the judge’s decision but said they were not surprised by it.
“I’m not surprised,” said Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project. “Republican state leaders in Texas have moved so far out of the mainstream. They have become so divisive that fair-minded Texans are turning away. Judge Key is a prominent and respected public official, so his actions appropriately draw attention, but every day I hear from people who formerly supported Republican candidates, but now won’t do it.”
As the Dad of a former gymnast, this is incredible!
A 16-year-old high school cheerleader has broken a Guinness World Record that is, quite frankly, flipping amazing!
Mikayla Clark, of Westlake High School in Atlanta, performed 44 consecutive back handsprings at her school’s homecoming game, beating out the previous record of 36. She started training for the big moment at the beginning of the football season.
“I was looking at world records and I just happened to see the most consecutive back handsprings,” she said in an interview with Fox Atlanta. “I clicked on the link and I was like, ‘Oh, she did 36, I think I can beat that.’”
The feat only took about 34 seconds, and as Clark performed, cheers from her teammates and her coach grew louder and louder as she approached the previous record number of flips and then passed it significantly.
“Most people can say, ‘Well, I won state, I did this.’ Now I can say I’m a world record holder,’” said the record breaking teen.
Although her official certificate hasn’t even come in the mail yet, she has already set a new goal for herself.
“My senior year, I’m going to flip field goal to field goal and try to break my record.”
It would be interesting to see what the most popular black baby names were in the same period… Somehow I don’t think it would be Ashley or emily.
The most popular baby girl names in the United States are flashes in the pan—each one appearing on the map briefly, before being swept out by an up-and-comer.
The map was built in Adobe Illustrator by Deadspin‘s Reuben Fischer-Baum using data from the Social Security Administration. ”Color palette,” Fischer-Baum wrote to me over email, “has to be credited to Stephen Few, from his excellent data viz book Show Me The Numbers.“ Earlier drafts gave each name a unique color, he says, but in the end ”it was a lot cleaner and more interesting to limit the palette to just the most popular name for any given year, and put the rest in grayscale so you could see how the different ‘eras’ of top names progressed.”
Over at Jezebel, Fischer-Baum describes the picture that emerges:
Baby naming generally follows a consistent cycle: A name springs up in some region of the U.S.—”Ashley” in the South, “Emily” in the Northeast—sweeps over the country, and falls out of favor nearly as quickly. The big exception to these baby booms and busts is “Jennifer”, which absolutely dominates America for a decade-and-a-half. If you’re named Jennifer and you were born between 1970 and 1984, don’t worry! I’m sure you have a totally cool, unique middle name.
Having been a part of several disaster recovery efforts and worked in Third world countries, one of the things you learn is to identify the “real deal” from the poseurs…
The incredible story of Mary Clarke, who became Sister Antonia…
Mary Clarke grew up in the luxury of Beverly Hills, where movie stars, such as William Powell, Hedy Lamarr and Dinah Shore, were among her neighbors. She spent weekends at a roomy beach house overlooking the Pacific and once had closets filled with mink coats and ball gowns.
She was married two times, raised seven children and managed her father’s office-supply business after his death. In the midst of this busy life, she devoted more and more time to charity, which she considered a crucial part of her Catholic faith.
In 1965, she accompanied a priest on a mission to deliver medicine and other supplies to Tijuana, Mexico. After several other stops, they ended up at the gate of one of the country’s most notorious prisons, a state penitentiary called La Mesa. The warden invited them inside to drop off their donations at the infirmary.
She began to visit the prison more often, attending to the needs of the inmates, guards and police, and the transformation of Mary Clarke Brenner had begun. In 1977, when most of her children were grown, she moved to La Mesa.
Although she had no formal religious training, she sewed her own nun’s habit and slept in a bunk in the women’s wing of the prison. She later lived for years in a 10-by-10-foot cell, with the walls painted pink.
She made it her vocation to attend to the needs of some of the most destitute and dangerous people in Mexico. She brought them medicine, bedding, clothing and food. She invited doctors and dentists from California to provide medical care. She worked with Mexican officials to improve conditions in La Mesa and other prisons.
When she walked through the halls, prisoners kissed her hand, and she kissed theirs. Notorious criminals confessed to her and pledged to change their lives.
In Tijuana and throughout all of Mexico, she was known as “Madre Antonia” — Mother Antonia.
She received the blessings of a Mexican bishop of the Catholic Church, was greeted by Pope John Paul II and was commended by Mexican President Vicente Fox. She went on to found a religious order for older women seeking to help the poor.
Mother Antonia went on to live in the prison for more than 30 years, improving the lives of thousands of prisoners, guards and their families. Mother Antonia was the subject of a 2005 book by Washington Post journalists Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, “The Prison Angel,” and a later documentary film.
After years of weakening health, she died Oct. 17 at the Tijuana headquarters of the religious order she founded, Sisters of the Eleventh Hour of St. John Eudes. She was 86.
She had heart ailments and myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disorder. A daughter, Carol Brenner, confirmed the death.
“Something happened to me when I saw men behind bars,” Mother Antonia told the Los Angeles Times in 1982. “When it was cold, I wondered if the men were warm; when it was raining, if they had shelter . . . You know, when I returned to the prison to live, I felt as if I’d come home.”