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Jesse Williams Lights it Up

Wow! Viacom has blocked the whole video – so it is no longer available. Williams really laid it bare…

This is the entire speech, sans video –

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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New Style Yellow Stars for Jewish – Trump’s Stormtroopers

Just in case you though Jewish folks are white. Trumps Troops are going to fix that “problem”.

(((The Jewish Cowbell))): Unpacking a Gross New Meme From the Alt-Right

From every Internet niche comes a native shorthand, so we should not be surprised that includes putrescent swampy niches from the putrescent swamps of Twitter. New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman shared his war story in the paper:

The first tweet arrived as cryptic code, a signal to the army of the “alt-right” that I barely knew existed: “Hello ((Weisman)).” @CyberTrump was responding to my recent tweet of an essay by Robert Kagan on the emergence of fascism in the United States.

“Care to explain?” I answered, intuiting that my last name in brackets denoted my Jewish faith.

“What, ho, the vaunted Ashkenazi intelligence, hahaha!” CyberTrump came back. “It’s a dog whistle, fool. Belling the cat for my fellow goyim.”

Truly though ((those brackets)) are not ultrasonically subtle enough to qualify as a dog whistle and not heroic enough to conjure Aesop’s image of belling the cat. Let’s call the construction the Jewish cowbell. The cowbell is a series of parentheses, anywhere from one to three, around the name of a Jewish person, to signal Jewishness. It proliferates in the dank margins of online conservative discourse, where anti-Semitism glows like a weird mold; tweets exhort Jews to follow trails of dollar bills into ovens and warn readers, via photographs of goose-stepping Nazis, not to “piss off the white boys.”

That critiques, or even mentions, of Trump can incite brain-atomizing gusts of anti-Semitism from certain corners of the Web is, sadly, not news. Just ask writer Julia Ioffe, who weathered Holocaust-themed abuse after she profiled Melania Trump forGQ, or journalist Bethany Mandel, who felt so intimidated by the violent threats of the #MAGA, or Make America Great Again, crowd (she was called a “slimy Jewess” and told she “deserved the oven”) that she went out and purchased a gun. But such vituperation often begins with this curious Jewish cowbell, a typographical indicator of ethnicity that hearkens back to the starred armbands Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany. Looking at these parentheses is a surreal experience: Not only do they mark out Jews, but they visually contain them, sequestered as if in a camp or prison.

According to historian Sarah Werner, there are few precedents for using typography to signify particular forms of identity. In 17th century multilingual dictionaries, various typefaces could connote various tongues: blackletter for Flemish and English; roman for Italian, Latin, and German; and italic for French and Spanish. Though most English texts switched from blackletter to roman in the mid-1500s, works that strongly evoked a shared English culture continued to be printed in blackletter, including the great national bibles, such as 1611’s King James Version.

Leaving aside clandestine methods for designating the race of potential jurors, the closest many texts come to telegraphing ethnic or regional background is dialect. Mark Twain shaped the language of black characters to mirror “Negro speech” (or his perception of it) in Huckleberry Finn; so too William Faulkner in his fiction and George Gershwin in Porgy and Bess; novels by Paul Laurence Dunbar and Zora Neale Hurston allowed men and women to voice the vernacular music of their communities.

Mic has a good exposé on the origins of the cowbell: Known to alt-right activists as an “echo,” the symbol sprang from a hardcore conservative podcast named the Daily Shoah. The Shoah “featured a segment called ‘Merchant Minute’ that gave Jewish names a cartoonish ‘echo’ sound effect when uttered,” Cooper Fleishman and Anthony Smith explain. When they reached out to the podcast editors for more information, they were told that the meme also functioned as a critique of “Jewish power”:

“The inner parenthesis represent the Jews’ subversion of the home [and] destruction of the family through mass-media degeneracy. The next [parenthesis] represents the destruction of the nation through mass immigration, and the outer [parenthesis] represents international Jewry and world Zionism.”

After just a few hours of research for this post, I cannot begin to describe the vile Freudian effluvium that pours out of Trump-adjacent spigots of the Internet. Think cartoons of purple-lipped black guys spilling McDonald’s drinks across the desks of white employers (to support Trump’s scorn for affirmative action) and Jews vacuuming up money through their fantastical schnozes. Men who criticize Trump can expect to find themselves starring in rococo gay sex scenarios: id-soaked fantasias of BBCs (big black cocks), cucks (cuckolds), “receptive homosexuals,” and “romping groups” of “alpha males” mingling with “subversive degenerates.” Women face gross comments on their bodies, accusations of mental instability, solicitude about their “meds,” and social Darwinist speculation on their corrupted “bloodlines.” The craziness highlights posters’ fluency in Internet porn even as it foregrounds intense erotic and racial anxiety. And all this is preceded, often, by a ((symbol)) whose clarion call-to-viciousness evokes the clang at the start of a boxing match.

“Hey, look at this fetid thing!” journalism has its limits, but its value is unmistakable in the Age of Trump, and this particular fetid thing should make us step back and reflect. The Republican nominee for president is riding a wave of support that looks for all the world like Hitler nostalgia. As a casually Jewish woman without the financial means to get my horns removed or my cloven hooves separated into toes, I am dismayed. Cowbell bigots may represent a tiny fraction of Trump followers, but they’re too toxic to be written off as a mere parenthetical.

 

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America Was Never Great Hat

A young black woman decided to make a political point about the Drumph’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. If you are black, or a minority in this country – things have never been “Great” in America. I mean – how exactly was slavery “great”? Jim Crow? Young black people murdered on the streets by out-of-control police…The misnomer “War on Drugs” which in reality is a “War on Minorities”. The highest level of incarceration in the world, with more people incarcerated than communist China or the Russian Dictatorship combined! And the majority of people incarcerated are minorities.

I men – European countries are kicking our ass almost across the board. They have better schools, better child care, better elderly care, better health care, and their is a higher likelihood of economic upward mobility for their poor and middle class. Their transportation systems kick our behind.

Conservatism since Raygun has destroyed the American Dream, and conservative racism prevents out country from reaching full economic potential. Conservatism, since Raygun has not made this country 2nd best…

It has firmly planted the country in 17th or 18th place in the world, down in the middle of the pack. A Communist country, Cuba – despite poverty wrought by economic sanctions, has a better health care system than we do.

Anyway, check out our brave girl…If she keeps her job at Home Depot, I will be pleasantly surprised.

 

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Conservative Clown US Senator Claims US “Under-Incarcerates”

The key to being elected as a Republican anymore is to say any stupid shit that comes out of your ass. Senator Tom Cotton being one of many prime examples in the US Senate and House.

What we need to do in this country isn’t to deport Illegal aliens…We need to deport stupid. Surely we can find an unpopulated Island in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean missing it’s fools, and in need of some jackasses for wildlife.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton couldn't be more wrong: No, the U.S. doesn't have an “under-incarceration problem"

Suck on Stupid Republican Sen. Tom Cotton

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton couldn’t be more wrong: No, the U.S. doesn’t have an “under-incarceration problem”

America holds roughly 5 percent of the world’s population and boasts 25 percent of its prison population. Something like 2.2 million people are currently imprisoned in this country. Our per capita incarceration rate is 750 per 100,000 – only Russia comes close to that at 450 per 100,000. Among African-American males, it’s nearly 4,000 per 100,000.

 This is a national disgrace.

Forty or 50 years ago, the numbers were far lower than this and comparable with much of the industrialized world. But thanks to a racist drug war and the concomitant explosion of the prison-industrial complex, America has become a star-spangled penal colony, a place where an African American male without a high school diploma is more likely to end up in jail than with a job.

Mass incarceration and criminal justice reform has emerged as one of the few fronts on which bipartisan action is possible. Nearly all Democrats are pushing for changes and, lately, prominent Republicans are increasingly open to reforming the system as well. One of the lone exceptions appears to be resident tough guy, Sen. Tom Cotton.

The junior senator from Arkansas who gained national attention last year with his inane letter to Iranian leaders has now taken a curious stand on America’s prison dilemma. Turns out, we’ve really got an “under-incarceration problem.” Despite the numbers and the trends and grotesque reality of a for-profit prison system, Cotton thinks we’ve got it all backwards.

Cotton has been critical of the efforts in Congress to reduce mandatory minimum sentences, but he doubled down in a speech on Thursday at The Hudson Institute:

“Take a look at the facts. First, the claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration, ignores an unfortunate fact: for the vast majority of crimes, a perpetrator is never identified or arrested, let alone prosecuted, convicted and jailed. Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.”

Cotton makes an interesting point about the pathological violence pervading American society (which, naturally, has nothing to do with our mania for guns), but that’s actually a separate issue. If anything, the fact that we’re jailing a quarter of the world’s population in spite of not apprehending the majority of violent offenders is itself a reflection of our obscene sentencing guidelines. We’re incarcerating too many citizens for victimless drug offenses and various non-violent crimes.

But Cotton thinks we’re showing too much empathy for “those caught up in the criminal-justice system.” Indeed, after perfunctorily acknowledging the racist roots of America’s felon-disenfranchisement laws, he dismissed the growing concerns over police brutality: “Let me make something clear: black lives do matter. The lives being lost to violence in America’s cities are predominantly those of young black men, with devastating consequences for their families and their communities. But the police aren’t the culprits. In nearly every case, the blood is on the hands of criminals, drug dealers, and gang members.”

No one denies that drug dealers and gangs are real problems, but that in no way diminishes the reality of a racialized incarceration system or an unjust drug war aimed at black Americans. While Cotton chooses his words carefully, his analysis is devoid of context. Yes, there are high levels of crime in urban areas, but that itself is a product of the drug war and the systematic destruction of these communities. Crime will always be higher in areas in which opportunities are scarce and the only thriving economy is a shadow economy. The focus ought to be the criminal justice system that props up these underground economies and lays waste to the surrounding communities. Much of our violent crime problem has been socially engineered; it’s about policy. Sen. Cotton shows no interest in this history…Read the Rest Here

 

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Bad Policing in the US…Welcome to the Third World

Looks like the reaction to bad cops is the same worldwide…

Cairo Suburb Erupts In Riots After Policeman Kills Man Over Cup Of Tea

A riot erupted in a Cairo suburb on Tuesday after a policeman shot three people after an argument over the price of a cup of tea, killing one of them, the Interior Ministry and witnesses said.

Public anger over allegations of police brutality has been bubbling over the past months, with several incidents spilling over into skirmishes and protests, five years after the ministry’s officers were a major focus of the 2011 uprising.

One of the onlookers held up a bullet casing and accused the police of killing “poor” Egyptians.

A crowd quickly gathered, overturning a police vehicle and beating up another policeman at the scene, said a witness, who did not see the shooting but said he arrived at the scene in the well-to-do neighborhood of Rehab shortly afterwards.

“The Interior Ministry are thugs,” chanted the crowd in a video sent to Reuters by the witness. Around 200 people were in the crowd, according to a Reuters estimate from the footage.

Rights activists say police brutality is widespread in Egypt and that there is a culture of impunity. The Interior Ministry says abuses are isolated and incidents are investigated.

Witnesses said on social media the argument on Tuesday was over the price of a cup of tea, which was confirmed to Reuters by security sources. The video, one of several shared by the witness, showed a man lying still on the floor surrounded by angry onlookers.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that a policeman got into an argument with a vendor over “the price of a drink” and shot him dead, injuring two others in the process.

A judicial source told Reuters the policeman shot the three men with an assault rifle and fled. The victim died from a bullet to the heart, the judicial source said.

“There are clashes between the police and locals. Security forces brought in two riot police vehicles and an armored truck and the victim’s family is here and pelting them with rocks,” said the witness who sent the video and who declined to be named for fear of reprisal.

“Security forces are retreating and promising justice but the crowd is demanding police hand over the killer.”

Anger over perceived police excesses helped fuel the 2011 uprising that ended President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule and began on a Police Day holiday. Since then, police have regained their power and human rights groups say they have returned to their old ways.

Public anger against police has surged again in recent months.

In February, a policeman shot dead a driver in the street in an argument over a fare, prompting hundreds to protest outside the Cairo security directorate. There were also riots in Ismailia and the southern city Luxor over the authorities’ handling of at least three deaths in police custody in a single week in November.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Cuba and Race

The diaspora after the Cuban Revolution actually did the country a huge favor in terms of race relations. Like other places in Latin America and the Islands who got jobs, ownership of import-export franchises, and business opportunities was largely driven by the racial strata of their chief customer (and sometimes occupier) the United States until late in the 60’s. And that meant the lighter and whiter the better.

As such the Cuban population of first generation refugees look nothing like the population on the Island.

Despite protestations to the contrary, including in the American Press – the Revolution did not entirely kill the Devil. It just drove it underground and made it a bit more nefarious.

One of the major issues of rapprochement, either by the US or European countries is who specifically will benefit from the emerging tourism and product marketplaces. And whether the “new invasion” of foreigners will apply or wittingly or unwittingly support the old color structure. I would guess there is some trepidation in welcoming the Cuban-American diaspora back.

The diaspora aren’t going to be real high on the list for either this, or the next Democrat President, because they, alone among Hispanic and Latino groups in the country have been a reliable voting block for Republicans.

Cuba Says It Has Solved Racism. Obama Isn’t So Sure.

President Obama spoke of his Kenyan heritage. He talked about how both the United States and Cuba were built on the backs of slaves from Africa. He mentioned that not very long ago, his parents’ marriage would have been illegal in America, and he urged Cubans to respect the power of protest to bring about equality.

“We want our engagement to help lift up Cubans who are of African descent,” he said, “who have proven there’s nothing they cannot achieve when given the chance.”

Mr. Obama’s speech on Tuesday, in an ornate Spanish colonial-style hall in Havana, was not only strikingly personal. It was also an unusually direct engagement with race, a critical and unresolved issue in Cuban society that the revolution was supposed to have erased.

For many Cubans, Mr. Obama’s comments were striking for their acknowledgment of racism in both countries. His remarks served as a reminder that their particular kinship with him — as reflected in dozens of conversations and responses to his history-making three-day visit this week — involves not just policy, but also identity.

“It’s a revolution,” said Alberto González, 44, a baker who was one of the few Afro-Cubans to attend a discussion with the president about entrepreneurship on Monday. “It’s a revolution for everyone with a background descended from Africa.”

Defensiveness has long hovered over the subject of race, in part because Fidel Castro said shortly after the revolution that racism had been solved, making the subject taboo.

The discomfort, in part, came from pride: Some of the revolution’s most visible achievements involved ending institutionalized segregation, at beach clubs, at schools and in neighborhoods where the homes of wealthy white Cubans who fled were often given to Cubans of color.

Socialized medicine and education also helped create a society more deeply shaped by interracial interactions and marriages than the United States.

And yet, Cuba is no more postracial than anywhere else. Many Afro-Cubans in Cuba and abroad have been quick to point out that the presence of Mr. Obama, the first black president of the United States, only highlights that the Cuban government does not reflect the demographics of their country.

On an island that is around two-thirds black and mixed race, according to a 2007 study by the Cuban economist Esteban Morales Domínguez, the civil and public leadership is about 70 percent white. He also found that most scientists, technicians and university professors, up to 80 percent in some fields, were white.

“The images of the meetings, the agreements, they’re all shameful for many black Cubans — I’m including myself in this — because it’s difficult to feel represented,” said Odette Casamayor-Cisneros, an associate professor of Latin American and Caribbean literatures and cultures at the University of Connecticut and a scholar at Harvard University.

She added that elements of Mr. Obama’s trip reflected some of the same dynamics: The Cuban-Americans traveling with the president were nearly all white, as were the Cuban officials who interacted with him on the island. Indeed, much of the audience for his speech on Tuesday was white.

In that context, the president — along with his wife, daughters and mother-in-law, who joined him on the trip — offers a clear contrast.

“What you see is confirmation of black empowerment, which has generally been denied in Cuban society,” Ms. Casamayor-Cisneros said. “For black Cubans, the mere existence of Obama is unusual and overwhelmingly symbolic.”

Some Afro-Cubans, like the hip-hop artist known as Soandry, linked the president to “what can be achieved in a capitalist system.”

Other Cubans brought up race more directly, without prompting, arguing that because Mr. Obama is African-American, he understands their country.

Mr. González, whose bakery counter is adorned with photographs of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, said it was not just the president whom people admire. “Look at that family,” he said, smiling broadly. “Can you imagine? Have you ever seen a more beautiful family?”

The challenge, Mr. González and other Cubans said, is turning that inspiration into something more substantial, starting with a more open conversation about race….Read The Rest Here

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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For the Well Heeled Trump Prepper – Bullet Resistant Cars

With the escalation of violence spurned in good part by Trump’s rhetoric at Trump Rallies, it is not unreasonable to assume things will get worse.

A Trump election could, in my view, will result in something more akin to Syria, than Hooterville, USA. The reason having to do with the Trump campaign’s close association with groups like Militias and the KKK who have long and bloody histories.Trump’s empowering this subgroup has, and will lead to violence in the streets based on these groups racism and ideology.

This is part of a series I will be doing on “Prepping for Disaster”, which if I get enough positive response I will continue.

The video is a sales video from a company in Texas which builds “Bullet Resistant Cars”. Why not “Bulletproof”? Because there are bullets out there, primarily for use by the Military, which can penetrate over 2″ of hardened steel. If you check on YouTube -you will see people testing bullet variants against “bulletproof glass”, with some success.To defend against such requires something that looks more like an Abrams tank, then any passenger vehicle traversing American roads.

What Texas Armoring Corporation does is upgrade an existing vehicle to survive attack by virtually any round legally available to the public, and non-armor piercing rounds available to terrorists around the world. And they are very good at it. Such an upgrade to an existing vehicle costs about $40k, about the same amount of money it takes to upgrade a street vehicle with an uber-power street kit from people like Calloway or Shelby to make your already ridiculously overpowered Chevy or Ford fire-breathing enough to eat your average $400,000 Ferrari’s lunch. The cost for a TAC armored vehicle  is substantially increased weight – adding another 2,000 lbs to the curb weight. Meaning your gas mileage is going into the toilet, and this isn’t going to work for your average 4 cylinder Toyota or Honda, unless you are willing to wait a half hour for the car to accelerate to highway speed. The windows on these also don’t open due to the thick layered “glass”.

​Stopping bullets dead

To protect against gun violence, experts are testing the limits of just what “bulletproof” really means. Serena Altschul has been watching them at work:

It may look like your average, everyday auto shop, except for one thing: Extreme quality control.

A YouTube video features Trent Kimball, the very confident — and brave — founder and CEO of Texas Armoring Corporation, a San Antonio-based company that turns ordinary cars into rolling fortresses.

“These aren’t bank trucks that we’re talking about,” said Kimball. “These are passenger vehicles that can stop any type of rifle round or handgun, even up to hand grenades, IEDs, those type of explosives.”

But don’t call these vehicles “bulletproof.”

“No, bulletproof does not exist,” Kimball said. “All our vehicles are ‘bullet-resistant.’ It’s not like the movies; the bullets don’t bounce off. It actually catches the bullet. The glass will crack, it’ll splinter, [but] it’s not gonna penetrate.”

Tearing cars down to their skeletons, Kimball and his crew install custom ballistic steel plates and ballistic glass, and then put it all back together as good as new.

The cost to armor a car goes from $40,000 on up, and Kimball says business is good and getting better:

“Economic stress in the world, the economic downturn, terrorism, that type of world that we live in nowadays is good for business, unfortunately.”

So, who needs these armored vehicles? “Our clientele range from heads of state of foreign countries, all the way down to a soccer mom here in the U.S.”

“Protection against kidnapping, protection against assault from an angry soccer parent?” asked Altschul.

“Outside the U.S., it’s mainly protection against kidnapping for ransom. Inside the U.S., they’re usually protecting just against random street crime,” said Kimball.

Detective Michael Levay of the NYPD knows firsthand the value of protection. In 2013 he was shot in his ballistic vest during a routine stop for a minor subway violation.

“The gentleman gets up,” he told Altschul. “He starts walking towards the train car door. I see him reach into his waistband, like, a jerk motion with his hand. He pulls out a gun. First round goes off. It strikes me in my vest.

“When I first got hit, it felt like a ton of bricks,” he said.

“I got hit pretty much dead center of the vest. Thankfully it stopped it. I believe it pierced the vest a little bit, but enough that all I had was pretty much a giant bruise.”

The first commercially-available bullet-resistant vest was invented in 1893 by a Chicago Catholic priest named Casimir Zeglen, who proved his garment worked by having himself shot in front of an audience.

Soon, high-profile people around the world bought the silk-and-steel vest, including the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

But Ferdinand reportedly forgot to wear his vest on June 28, 1914, when an assassin shot and killed him, igniting World War I.

Recent experiments proved Zeglen’s invention could’ve stopped that fateful shot.

Fortunately for Detective Levay, he didn’t forget to put his vest on.

“I know I’m here because the vest saved my life,” he replied. “And I try to be the guy to talk to some of the younger officers, and just, ‘Listen: Take care of yourself. You could get into a dangerous situation. Watch yourself. Watch your partner’s back, and be careful out there.'”

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2016 in Disaster Prep

 

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