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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Ted Cruz Gets Smacked Down by Fellow Republicans

This has been a long time coming…The Adults are moving to take control back.

Cruz sternly rebuked by GOP

Ted Cruz can’t even get a protest vote in the Senate anymore.

On Monday night, Cruz’s colleagues ignored his attempt to disrupt Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to fund the government without attacking Planned Parenthood. In an unusual rebuke, even fellow Republicans denied him a “sufficient second” that would have allowed him a roll call vote.

Then, his Republican colleagues loudly bellowed “no” when Cruz sought a voice vote, a second repudiation that showed how little support Cruz has: Just one other GOP senator — Utah’s Mike Lee — joined with Cruz as he was overruled by McConnell and his deputies.

It was the second time that Cruz had been denied a procedural courtesy that’s routinely granted to senators in both parties. The first came after he called McConnell a liar this summer.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in The Clown Bus

 

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“That Colored Fella”…Ben Carson

Don Black, founder of Stormfront, a leading white supremacist website, said he was closely following the 2016 election.

“We need to pay close attention to the election,” Black told members of Stormfront. “Some of the candidates, like Donald Trump, are addressing our issues. Of the two parties, the Republicans more closely align with our views. But they need to get rid of that colored fella Ben Carson, he not too bright, like most blacks. The Democratic Party is full of darkies, beaners, queers, feminazis and Jews.”

Black, who donated to Ron Paul’s campaign, urged other white supremacists to attend the 2016 RNC convention.

“We need go there, start networking and get our voices heard,” Black said. “As long as we cover our tattoos and wear khakis and button down shirts, we’ll fit right in.”

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in The Clown Bus, The New Jim Crow

 

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White Supremacists Invite Black Conservative to Their Convention

Sean Hannity’s favorite Lawn Jockey, Jesse Lee Peterson to join white supremacist rally…because “he hates black people as much as we do”.

Black Conservative Jesse Lee Peterson Invited to White Supremacists Convention

Black conservative the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson has been invited to be a speaker at the National White Alliance (NWA)’s annual convention.

Brian Blank, a spokesperson for the NWA, said Peterson was welcome at the conference, even though he was black.

“Well, he can’t help the color he was born, but he is one of the few good ones,” said Blank. “And he hates Blacks just as much as we do.”

Peterson, a frequent guest on FOX News, bills himself as a Black conservative and has been very critical of the African-American community. He criticized the Black residents of New Orleans who failed to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina for being “lazy and immoral.” He also thanked God for slavery, claiming that without it Black Americans would have never found Jesus.

Peterson has also made anti-women comments. He said women are not emotionally suited to hold public office.

“Jesse knows his place and the place of the white man,” Blank said. “If we had 100 more coloreds like him, my organization would go out of business.”

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Black Conservatives, The New Jim Crow

 

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“christian” School Kick 5 YO Out For Having Two Mommies

So much for Christians being persecuted in the US… Come on, bigoted morons – It’s a kid!

Why exactly would you want to hurt a small child for the “sins” of her Mother?

Christian school kicks out kindergartener because she has two moms

Sadly, nationwide marriage equality simply isn’t enough to inoculate all children of same-sex couples from the cruelty and indignity that is anti-gay discrimination.

The latest example comes from San Diego, California, where a five year-old girl was recently barred from starting the first day of kindergarten after her school changed its nondiscrimination policy following the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, reports the local ABC News affiliate KGTV.

Mt. Erie Christian Academy, a private institution that does not appear to take any public funds, updated its handbook this summer to reserve the right to discontinue the enrollment of any student it finds “in opposition to the biblical lifestyle,” citing at least one Bible passage that calls for homosexuals to be murdered:

Mt. Erie Christian Academy is a religious, Bible-believing institution providing education in a distinct Christian environment, and it believes that its biblical role is to work in conjunction with the home to mold students to be Christ like. On those occasions in which the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle that the school teaches, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, condoning or supporting sexual immorality; practicing homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity; promoting such practices; or otherwise having the inability to support the moral principles of the school (Leviticus 20:13a; Romans 1:21-27; Matthew 19:4-6; I Corinthians 6:9-20).

 The new policy effectively barred one of the school’s pre-school students from entering kindergarten this school year.

The five-year old’s mother, Shenna (she asked that her last name be withheld) called the policy change “heartbreaking.” The stay at-home mother said the she was unaware of the school’s extreme anti-gay attitude and insisted that she wouldn’t not have subjected her daughter to such humiliation had she known of their discriminatory policy before enrolling at the academy.

“If we knew from the beginning that this was unacceptable, they didn’t condone or believe in this, if it was such a big deal, we would have never started her off there,” Sheena said. “I would never put my child’s emotional wellbeing in an unstable setting like that.”

Shenna said that although both her and her wife, whose is currently deployed with the Navy, are Christian, they never considered their sexuality to be in conflict with the faith or the school’s mission.

“What does our family life have to do with anyone else? Like no one’s gonna be in danger.”

She continued: “I want my baby to be safe when she grows up. I don’t want her to ever have to be discriminated against because of her lifestyle. That’s not fair.”

Shenna told KGTV that she is looking for legal recourse but that her daughter continues to be out of the classroom as they search for an alternative.

“I miss my friends. I miss my teachers,” the child told the news station.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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You are More Likely to Die Violently … Outside the City

Whooops! Did I really say that?

That’s right, despite all the caterwauling by the racist right about “black on black crime”, the simple fact of the matter is that drunk white folks in Wyoming kill more people percentage wise than black folks in many cities.

Those who said they have driven within two hours after drinking any alcohol report an average of 11 such trips in the past year (males 14.4 vs females 5.9 trips). Whites account for 84 percent of all monthly trips, while this groups comprises 77 percent of the 16 to 64 year old population. The percentages for monthly alcohol trips and population are: Blacks — 5 and 9 percent; Hispanics — 5 and 7 percent; Asian Americans — 1 and 2 percent; and Native Americans and Eskimos — 3 and 2 percent. About 3 percent of whites, 2 percent of Blacks, 2 percent of Asian and 7 percent of American Indian/Eskimos age 16-64 report being stopped by the police for suspicion of drinking and driving.

What this feeds isa high DUI rate in rural and suburban areas.

You’re More Likely to Die a Violent Death in Rural America Than in a City

In one popular explanation for the mass exodus from urban America over the last several decades, people left the city because the city wasn’t safe. In suburban and rural America, by contrast, the cars drive slower down cul-de-sacs, random crime is less common, and gunfire is scarce. You’ve probably heard this before.

Here, however, is the data: Yes, homicide-related death rates are significantly higher in urban parts of the country. But that risk is far outweighed by the fact that you’re about twice as likely to die in a car crash in rural America than you are in the most urban counties. Nationwide, the rate of “unintentional-injury death” car crashes, drownings, falls, machinery accidents and the like is about 15 times the rate of homicide death. Add together all the ways in which you might die prematurely by intentional or unintentional injury (as opposed to illness), and your risk of death is actually about 22 percent higher in the most rural counties in America than in the most urban ones.

All together, your risk of injury death actually goes up the more rural the community where you live.

This finding comes from a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, published in theAnnals of Emergency Medicine. The study looked at every injury death in America between 1999 and 2006 (excluding death by terrorism the researchers considered Sept. 11 too much an outlier to contribute to our understanding of these public-health patterns). That number totaled 1,295,919 deaths. Each was tagged to the county where the injury took place, with counties classified on a 10-step continuum from urban to rural.

The main finding inverts many of our assumptions about danger and place: “When considering all mechanisms of injury death as an overall metric of safety,” the authors write, “large cities appear to be the safest counties in the United States, significantly safer than their rural counterparts.”

On the below two illustrations from the paper, the map of population density by county (top) directly contrasts with the map of death rates (bottom):

Across the whole population, the top three causes of death were motor vehicle crashes, firearms and poisoning. But start to break these numbers down by region, age group and even race, and the picture gets more interesting. Motor vehicle crashes, for example, lead to 27.61 deaths per 100,000 people in the most rural counties. But that number is just 10.58 deaths per 100,000 people in the most urban counties.

Other risks you might expect are more common in rural areas, like injury from machines and environmental events like flooding, animal attacks or exposure to the cold. As for guns, the risk of firearm-related death is actually pretty consistent across the country, population-wide. But firearm deaths are significantly higher in rural areas for children and people over age 45. In the city, they’re much higher for people aged 20 to 44.

Race also played a curious factor. Rural counties with large black populations had lower risk of injury death than rural counties with fewer blacks. For Latinos, the pattern was the opposite.(BTx3 thinks it’s the crazy white folks on Youtube effect)

 

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Elizabeth Warren – Economics and Black Lives

Elizabeth Warren…Gets it. This is really straightforward.

Why is the right wing so deeply embedded in denial?

 

Elizabeth Warren Goes All In On Black Lives Matter

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Sunday forcefully called for a renewed focus on the fight for racial justice, arguing that “we have not made enough progress” since the civil rights movement of the 1960s and outlining three main policy areas in which black people continue to face discrimination, including her signature issue of economic inequality.

Speaking at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, established by her late predecessor, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Warren’s speech was tied to the legacy of the monumental 1960s civil rights laws that Kennedy championed.

“These laws made three powerful declarations: Black lives matter. Black citizens matter. Black families matter,” she said, according to her prepared remarks.

But she said it is clear that “we have not made enough progress,” organizing the speech around three major areas in which black people still face injustice: police violence, voting restrictions and economic inequality.

Linking her long-standing fight for the middle class to the fight for racial justice, Warren conceded that “economic justice is not and has never been sufficient to ensure racial justice.” However, Warren pivoted back to her signature issue throughout her speech, noting that African-Americans continue to face diminished economic prospects and discrimination in housing, education and employment.

She also reminded the audience that the March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 was as much about economic justice as it was about racial justice.

“When Dr. King led hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington, he talked about an end to violence, access to voting and economic opportunity. As Dr. King once wrote, ‘the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice.’”

Warren acknowledged that economic reforms are not enough to combat the racism that still persists in America. “Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won’t prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside,” she said.

Citing the recent deaths of African-Americans in police custody, such as Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and Freddie Gray, as well as the aggressive tactics police used during the protests against these deaths, she lamented that black people continue to experience disproportionately unfair treatment from police. In proposing solutions, she echoed the recent calls for police reforms, including the need to create more diverse police forces that “look like, and come from, the neighborhoods they serve” and the demilitarization of police.

“This is America, not a war zone, and policing practices in all cities, not just some, need to reflect that,” she said.

Warren also railed against the continued assault against voting rights for minorities, particularly in the South, where lawmakers have resorted to more subtle tactics for keeping voters off the rolls, such as gerrymandering, voter ID laws and more complicated voting procedures. She scolded congressional Republicans for holding out on legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act, parts of which were struck down by the Supreme Court in a 2013 ruling. She also called on states to implement automatic voter registration to reduce the procedural hurdles of voting.

She tied the central argument of her speech back to her message of economic inequality, citing persistent housing discrimination against blacks, the high black unemployment rate, and how the housing bubble and economic recession disproportionately gutted economic opportunities for the black middle class. Warren hailed what is perhaps her most famous policy achievement, the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as the first step in curtailing discriminatory mortgage and banking policies.

“It’s time to come down hard on predatory practices that allow financial institutions to systematically strip wealth out of communities of color. One of the ugly consequences of bank deregulation was that there was no cop on the beat when too many financial institutions figured out that they could make great money by tricking, trapping and defrauding targeted families,” she said.

Warren acknowledged that as a white politician, “I speak today with the full knowledge that I have not personally experienced and can never truly understand the fear, the oppression, and the pain that confronts African-Americans every day,” she said. “But none of us can ignore what is happening in this country. Not when our black friends, family, neighbors literally fear dying in the streets.

“It comes to us to once again affirm that black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter.”

The speech drew praise from Black Lives Matter activists, like DeRay Mckesson, who has prominently called for lawmakers to make direct policy proposals that address police violence.

“Warren, better than any political leader I’ve yet heard, understands the protests as a matter of life or death — that the American dream has been sustained by an intentional violence and that the uprisings have been the result of years of lived trauma,” Mckesson told The Washington Post.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Justice in Sheets…A Jury of Peers – Dismissing Black Jurors

The process of eliminating black jurors from a trial has been around for a while, even though it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It is a commonly used tool in some parts of the country where the prosecutor’s case is weak, the defendant is black and the victim is white – or to cover some misconduct by Law Enforcement. It typically assures conviction – even when obvious exculpatory evidence exists. Once again – this deception is headed to the Supreme Court, where by the fact of it’s conservative majority – there is little likely to be done about it. I mean – it is hard to believe based on past rulings that Uncle Tommie Clarence would object to a black person being convicted by a jury wearing white robes and hoods.

The Jury Selection has been perfectly fair, Your Honor!

How Prosecutors Get Away With Cutting Black Jurors

A curious thing happened at the trial of Timothy Tyrone Foster, a young black man accused of killing an elderly white woman: every black prospective juror was dismissed. He was convicted, and sentenced to death, by an all-white jury.

Even more curious: there were 42 prospective jurors that morning, five of whom were black.  All dismissed, four of whom by “peremptory challenge,” in which theprosecutor strikes a juror at his or her discretion.  In Georgia, where Foster’s trial took place, prosecutors have ten such options.

Peremptory challenges were entirely unreviewable for most of American history.  That was their function: in addition to dismissals with reasons, they were meant to give prosecutors and defense attorneys (in Georgia, defense attorneys get twenty such challenges) leeway to strike potentially problematic jurors without explanation.

That changed somewhat in 1986, when the Supreme Court decided Batson v. Kentucky.  In Batson, the Court held that using peremptory challenges to strike jurors on the basis of race was unconstitutional.

Foster’s trial, though, took place after Batson.  How is that possible?  BecauseBatson has proven to be almost worthless in practice.  All a prosecutor must do is provide some race-neutral reason for striking jurors, and that is extremely easy to do.  Maybe the juror didn’t make eye contact.  Maybe she was female.  Maybe he looked bored or inattentive—as most of us are at the end of hours of jury duty.

Any of these reasons will do, and so, in Foster’s case and countless others, winning a “Batson challenge” is basically impossible.

Except Foster’s case has turned out to be different.  During the lengthy appeals process (nearly thirty years and counting), the prosecutor’s notes were made public.  And they are laughable and tragic at the same time.  Black prospective jurors are annotated as B#1, B#2, et cetera.  Weighing the different options, the prosecutor noted that one has “the most potential to choose from out of the four remaining blacks.”  And so on.

And then there were the absurd pretexts the prosecutor provided to satisfyBatson.  First, he listed over thirty different reasons, basically throwing everything against the wall to see what would stick.  He said three didn’t make enough eye contact. He said another was a social worker, which in fact she was not.  He said one was close in age to the 18-year-old defendant; she was 34.

All this make it abundantly clear that race was the predominant factor in striking these jurors, notwithstanding the pretexts given for their dismissals.

And that’s why Foster’s case is now at the Supreme Court, which will have an opportunity to update Batson, and perhaps give it some teeth.  The Court will also, of course, determine the fate of Foster, who is developmentally disabled and who has now spent nearly thirty years on death row.

Batson has failed miserably to prevent race discrimination,” says Stephen Bright, who is Foster’s lawyer, a professor at Yale Law School, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights, and one of the leading advocates for criminal justice reform, including abolition of the death penalty.  Bright has been down this road before, having won two Supreme Court cases on race discrimination and jury selection.  And he says that Foster’s case is not unusual in the least.

“What went on at trial was typical,” he told the Daily Beast.  “What’s unusual is we know what’s in the prosecutor’s files.  These notes that show not just a consciousness of race but an obsession with race.”

Batson has failed to prevent discrimination, says Bright, for at least three reasons.

First, “every prosecutor has a handy-dandy list of race-neutral reasons that they give.  They even distribute reasons in advance.  Some state training programs even distribute a list called ‘Articulating Juror Negatives.’”

That’s right, all prosecutors have to do is read from a prewritten list of reasons, and they’ll prevail.  “They just say, ‘take a lot of notes when you strike a black juror.’”

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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