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Blue_Tires

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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 37,787

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Wall Street’s civil rights disgrace: Inside a quiet, evil lobbying effort

Since the financial crisis of 2008, a defining question has been how to rein in Wall Street’s most reckless practices. In the face of the Dodd-Frank Act, a nascent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and some impressive legal settlements against banks involved in securities fraud and abusive loan servicing, Wall Street has not been shy about taking countermeasures.

After lobbying furiously against financial reform, the financial industry has worked to defang the new regulatory regimes where it can. For the most part, this response has aimed at rolling back reforms put in place following the 2008 financial crisis. But the backlash against regulation has not been limited to attacking new financial reforms.

Over the last several years, Wall Street has joined a coalition of groups in a litigation campaign to dismantle a crucial regulatory bulwark: federal civil rights protections against discriminatory lending. Pressing this litigation effort is a good investment for Wall Street. It provides a low-profile path to advance its deregulatory agenda. Under the guise of a technical debate over legal doctrine, this litigation campaign aims to radically roll back an indispensable legal constraint on reckless financial practices. In the process, it would tear down a vital pillar of civil rights law, making it much harder to mount legal challenges to discrimination throughout the housing and lending markets.

A Pillar of Civil Rights Law

Discrimination was one of the engines of the financial crisis. Unscrupulous lenders designed their entire business models to serve Wall Street’s bottomless appetite for loans to be packaged into securities. The most effective way to feed that appetite was to exploit long-standing patterns of discrimination and residential segregation, which had the effect of funneling African-American and Latino borrowers into hyper-risky loans that put borrowers on a path to foreclosure.

As a result, some of the most important legal actions against the banks have involved discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Many of those claims have relied on a long-standing pillar of civil rights law: The principle that the FHA prohibits housing practices that have a discriminatory effect – or, in the language of legal doctrine, a “disparate impact” – on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability or other protected characteristics. Disparate impact claims provide a way for judges to enforce anti-discrimination laws without forcing them to get inside the heads of decision-makers to determine whether discrimination was intentional.

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/12/wall_streets_civil_rights_disgrace_inside_a_quiet_evil_lobbying_effort/

As questions arise over a $500M Apple deal, LA school district votes to destroy internal emails

California’s largest school district just dealt a major blow to public transparency.

According to the Pasadena public radio station KPCC, the Los Angeles Unified school district (LAUSD) has voted to destroy all internal staff emails after one year. The reason for doing so, according to the board’s new policy, is that, “Because the District relies on public funds, it is imperative for the District to minimize its costs and, therefore, dispose of information and Records in a timely manner.”

That sounds reasonable on the surface, but consider the timing of the announcement: Less than three weeks ago, KPCC published emails revealing that LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy had met with representatives from Apple and the textbook company Pearson to discuss the purchase of iPads and educational software. These meetings occurred a year before public bidding opened up on the contract to supply technological resources to LA schools. Although Deasy claims the discussions were unrelated to the impending contract bid, Apple and Pearson went on to win the deal which is worth a record $500 million.

Following the release of the emails, Deasy cancelled the contract and vowed to reopen the bidding process.

The emails were made public by way of a California Public Records Act request, but thanks to the new policy the school district will no longer be required to – or, it seems, able to – produce internal emails like these because they are over a year old. Had the rule been in place a few weeks ago, KPCC could have been blocked from retrieving the emails and the Apple-Pearson deal would have likely stood unquestioned.

http://pando.com/2014/09/11/as-questions-arise-over-a-500m-apple-deal-la-school-district-votes-to-destroy-internal-emails/

I'd said back when the deal was announced that it was just a big con...Here are some previous threads:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023356700
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023758405
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014628006

Contingency Plans

In a never-before-released thesis, Reagan’s FEMA director discussed the potential internment of millions of blacks in concentration camps.

“Giuffrida's views really aren’t that offensive, despite what some of the articles on the web have said,” says the US Army War College spokeswoman, an officer of lieutenant colonel rank, unsolicited, over the phone.

I had asked for a copy of former FEMA director Louis Giuffrida’s 1970 thesis, “National Survival—Racial Imperative.” My request for the paper via Interlibrary Loan had been denied. I had called every number I could find to figure out why.

“ is actually against racial prejudice,” the spokeswoman continued. “It just is trying to figure out, that when the system breaks down, like Ferguson, what the Army’s response should be.”

I hadn’t mentioned Ferguson.

After filing a FOIA request, I finally got my hands on the thesis. Giuffrida’s paper, written at the US Army War College, is a pseudophilosophical, historical analysis of the origins of racial prejudice that then offers a proposal: the establishment of concentration camps to imprison potentially millions of black Americans in the event of a revolutionary uprising in the United States.

The thesis, which has never been published or excerpted, speaks for itself:

In the past decade, the United States has had an epidemic of confrontations in which outbreaks of bitter racial violence have brought death and destruction and widened the gap between Negro and white. Inevitably, the rising tensions and mutual distrust have led to more violence and disruption.

For purposes of discussion let us assume that racial relations have degenerated to the point where armed militants embark on a massive violent attempt to immobilize the normal routine of a large city. The militants have occupied the city hall, taken over the mayor’s office, and are shooting at police attempting to oust them. An extremely militant Black Nationalist group has seized the main radio stations and has been calling on all sympathizers to arm themselves and “join the people’s revolution.”

As soon as the violence starts, there are similar, though not necessarily preplanned, outbreaks of violence in other cities across the entire nation. The level of violence has quickly exceeded the control capacity of the various state and local agencies. Federal troops have been requested and are already committed. Fierce fighting is taking place in several major cities and intelligence reports indicate the disorder is likely to spread still further. Large numbers of United States troops are still committed overseas and cannot be readily recalled to the United States. To further complicate the problem, white vigilante groups have surfaced and are taking independent counteractions against blacks — without too much attempt to discriminate between militant and nonmilitant…

Faced by mounting death and destruction, as well as increasing demands that he do so, the President reluctantly declares a state of national emergency and puts the entire country on a war basis. The previously murmured suggestion that all Negroes be locked up now swells to a roar. It is like 1941 again, except that now it is the “Black Peril” rather than the “Yellow Peril.”

In the extremely unlikely event that the government were to order the evacuation and detention of all blacks from actual or potential trouble spots, how and by whom would the order be enforced? What are the yardsticks for collecting, evacuating, and interning either militant or pacifistic minority groups; or dissident, potentially disloyal elements; or law-abiding citizens whose only offense is accident of color? Where would the internees be kept? … What would be done with the blacks in the Armed Forces and in civil service and in Congress? The task would be far too large for the Justice Department; it would have to be greatly augmented by military forces, primarily from the United States Army.

The government has historically had the right to protect itself. A government faced with prolonged, simultaneous, apparently coordinated riots disrupting the entire nation to the point where the government feared its very existence was in jeopardy would take many actions which in calmer times would never be considered. “The authority to decide whether the exigency has arisen, belongs exclusively to the President and … his decision is conclusive upon all other persons.” (Martin v. Mott, US Supreme Court 1827).


https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/09/contingency-plans/
https://pdf.yt/d/h7zSh86fNBKrtRJU

Not a lot in this, really...More of a hypothetical academic exercise than anything else...But it is an eye-opening read...

9 Things Everyone Needs to Stop Saying to Black Women Immediately

Black women in America just can't seem to catch a break these days.

Between Michelle Obama being called transphobic slurs for her stature and physique to Janay Rice getting shamed and lampooned by Fox News anchors after being assaulted by her NFL player husband, black women are routine targets for disrespectful jokes and offbeat questions about their everyday lives. These kinds of comments are deeply rooted in negative media stereotypes that have little-to-no connection with reality — and it's about time we put an end to all of the ignorance.

For years now, black women have openly challenged the racism and misogyny, but to no avail. In 2011, blogger Franchesca "Chescaleigh" Ramsey struck a nerve when she created the video "Shit white girls say...to black girls," a spin-off of the popular "shit people say" meme at the time. Black women everywhere applauded Chescaleigh for hilariously demonstrating to the rest of the world just how offensive and cringeworthy some of the remarks are, but the attitudes she so masterfully critiqued still persist.


Source: Chescaleigh via YouTube
Rather than taking that moment as a challenge to self-educate about the experiences of women of color — perspectives widely available on the Internet and in numerous books — many have instead rested comfortably in their privilege of not having to encounter the difficult challenges endured every day by black women.

It's not that talking to black women should be hard work, but people need to make a sincere effort to undo several years of unchecked, subtle racism and sexist microaggressions. And in the interest of elevating the conversation beyond the ridiculous tropes, here are a few of the most common statements that everyone should strongly consider avoiding while speaking with a black woman.

1. "You're so pretty for a black girl."



Just three years ago, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics claimed that black women were naturally unattractive in blog post at Psychology Today.

Despite the obvious pseudoscience related to "testosterone levels" and fat-shaming black women for having curvier figures than average, the author isn't alone in this line of unfortunate reasoning. In fact, this attitude still pervades many aspects of society, especially regarding dark-skinned black women.

This supremely backhanded compliment first and foremost suggests that all black women are ugly. Not to mention the condescending notion that the woman you're speaking with is a rare exception to a rule that only exists in the first place due to prejudice.

Next time, just drop the qualifier and offer a genuine affirmation of a black woman's beauty, without the racist tropes.

2. "I want hair like yours."

Source: AShotOfJenn via YouTube
No, you don't. To have black hair means being subject to highest degree of scrutiny — from assessments about your professionalism to comments from other black folks about your so-called lack of self-respect. More often than not, people who aren't black have the privilege of not having to agonize over the message you're sending to the world or to your own community every day by choosing to wear your hair a certain way.

Take for example Louisiana weather woman Rhonda Lee, who was fired in November 2012 after responding to negative comments about her natural hair on KTBS 3 News's Facebook page. When she was unable to find a job afterward, according to News One, her friends tried to help, but came up empty-handed.


Source: belovedque via YouTube
"Co-workers have had an intervention of sorts with me when I first started trying to get weather jobs. They took me to lunch and told me, 'You're going to have to grow your hair out,'" Lee said of the tedious search process. It took until July 2014 for Lee to land a new job with WeatherNation in Colorado, with her hair intact.

You might be trying to share your respect and admiration for black hair being cool, different and versatile, but there's a heavy burden associated with what adorns a black woman's head — one that you'll never quite understand.

3. "You don't look completely black. What exactly are you?"
More often than not, this question stems from a few things: genuine curiosity, implicit bias and one terrible attempt at complimenting or exoticizing a black woman. Sadly, these questions point to an unfortunate trend of colorism in American society, where minorities are more "acceptable" if they're closer to looking like a white person.

A recent study revealed that "educated" black people are perceived as having lighter skin, whereas "ignorant" and "athletic" black folks are thought to have darker skin — regardless of what their true skin tone was. Colorism also works as a divisive force within communities of color, as some racial minorities express similar attitudes and preferences.

Instead of telling a black woman that she's beautiful or intelligent, people of all races, including some black men, perpetuate the unfortunate assumption that these characteristics can only be achieved if one's recent ancestors mated with whites or anyone who wasn't black. Black women, too, are endowed with socially acceptable and desirable traits, regardless of their skin tone or their family lineage.

4. "Can you teach me how to dance?"

Source: Miley Cyrus Vevo via YouTube
Some people take classes, others practice in the mirror or watch YouTube tutorials. That goes for people of all races.

But the belief that black people are naturally better dancers than others — especially white people — is so strong that research has been done to determine its validity. So far, researchers have determined that rhythmic ability and the importance of music and dance is cultural, as opposed to innate or hereditary.

This question mistakenly assumes that you know someone's background or cultural upbringing, even their interests and talents, based entirely on their skin tone. Many black folks grew up in an environment where dancing was celebrated and encouraged. For others, that's just not the case.

http://mic.com/articles/98594/9-things-everyone-needs-to-stop-saying-to-black-women-immediately

LAPD Confuses Black Actress Kissing White Husband for Prostitute

African-American actress Daničle Watts claims she was "handcuffed and detained" by police officers from the Studio City Police Department in Los Angeles on Thursday after allegedly being mistaken for a prostitute.

According to accounts by Watts and her husband Brian James Lucas, two police officers mistook the couple for a prostitute and client when they were seen showing affection in public. When the officers asked Watts to produce a photo ID when questioned, she refused. Watts was subsequently handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser while the officers attempted to figure out who she was. The two officers released Watts shortly afterwards.

Watts, who played CoCo in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and currently stars in Martin Lawrence vehicle Partners, posted an account of the incident on her Facebook page:

"As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong," wrote Watts. "I felt his shame, his anger, and my own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that “authority figures” could control my BEING… my ability to BE!!!!!!!"

Watt's husband Brian Lucas, who is white, claimed that the two were targeted by police for being an interracial couple. In a seperate post on his Facebook page, Lucas said that "from the questions that asked me as D was already on her phone with her dad, I could tell that whoever called on us (including the officers), saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot bootie shorted black girl and thought we were a HO (prostitute) & a TRICK (client)."

http://mic.com/articles/98826/lapd-confuses-black-actress-kissing-white-husband-for-prostitute

LAPD Confuses Black Actress Kissing White Husband for Prostitute

African-American actress Daničle Watts claims she was "handcuffed and detained" by police officers from the Studio City Police Department in Los Angeles on Thursday after allegedly being mistaken for a prostitute.

According to accounts by Watts and her husband Brian James Lucas, two police officers mistook the couple for a prostitute and client when they were seen showing affection in public. When the officers asked Watts to produce a photo ID when questioned, she refused. Watts was subsequently handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser while the officers attempted to figure out who she was. The two officers released Watts shortly afterwards.

Watts, who played CoCo in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and currently stars in Martin Lawrence vehicle Partners, posted an account of the incident on her Facebook page:

"As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong," wrote Watts. "I felt his shame, his anger, and my own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that “authority figures” could control my BEING… my ability to BE!!!!!!!"

Watt's husband Brian Lucas, who is white, claimed that the two were targeted by police for being an interracial couple. In a seperate post on his Facebook page, Lucas said that "from the questions that asked me as D was already on her phone with her dad, I could tell that whoever called on us (including the officers), saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot bootie shorted black girl and thought we were a HO (prostitute) & a TRICK (client)."

http://mic.com/articles/98826/lapd-confuses-black-actress-kissing-white-husband-for-prostitute

Congressman Mark Sanford uses Facebook to call off engagement (with onetime mistress)

uth Carolina congressman Mark Sanford took to social media Friday to call off his engagement to the woman who was his mistress while he was governor, embroiling him in controversy.

Toward the bottom of a Facebook post so long it requires numerous scrolls to get through, Sanford said his engagement to Maria Belen Chapur had ended and the couple had split.

Sanford's reasons for the decision revolve around a bitter divorce and custody battle with his ex-wife, Jenny, he said.

“No relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter, and for this reason Belen and I have decided to call off the engagement,” according to Sanford’s post. “Maybe there will be another chapter when waters calm with Jenny, but at this point the environment is not conducive to building anything given no one would want to be caught in the middle of what’s now happening.”

Sanford was governor from 2003 to 2011.

Despite his fall from grace after the affair with Chapur became public in 2009, Sanford was elected to Congress during a special election in 2013.

The Facebook posting ends with Sanford saying he must rededicate himself to God for answers.

"This posting has been most personal, but again given the gravity of what has been alleged I felt compelled to address it and the larger context of where our family is and where we are headed," he said.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-mark-sanford-facebook-engagement-20140912-story.html

Exclusive: Russian Soldiers Reveal the Truth Behind Putin's Secret War

Lyudmila Malinina’s voice trembled as she described the secret funeral she witnessed on a recent night in her small town of Sudislavsky in the Kostroma region of central Russia. At about 8pm, a truck parked at the cemetery a few yards away from her wooden house. The truck’s headlights stayed on to illuminate the ground for several men to hurriedly dig the grave, “as if they were thieves hiding something”, Luydmila says.

More neighbours popped out of their windows and doors to watch and discuss the strange scene, wondering why anybody would bury a relative at this hour. Besides, that part of the graveyard was reserved for the deceased in war, as somebody pointed out.

While Nato sat down for a summit to decide what to do about the war in Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin negotiated a ceasefire deal with Kiev, Russian society recoiled from reports about secret funerals of soldiers killed in Ukraine: missing sons, calls from husbands begging their wives to save them from ­battle, bodies with missing limbs arriving in coffins to Nizhny Novgorod, Orenburg, Pskov, Murmansk, Dagestan and other regions of Russia. The death toll for Russian soldiers jumped to more than 200 soldiers in a few days, between August 12th and September 2nd, in a war that was, officially, not happening.

Russian army wives have a special term for dead soldiers returning home from the front lines in zinc coffins: they are called “cargo 200” – a phrase that has echoed like a curse to a Russian ear since the days that a tide of zinc packages came in from Afghanistan during the Soviet war of 1980s. The secrecy around their husbands’ deployments “was like a trap created by a schizophrenic”, one of the Kostroma paratroopers’ wives says.

One of the soldier contractors, who served in Ukraine, described “the longest August” of his life on the front, in a phone interview with Newsweek. What was the worst part? Wounded friends dying in Rostov hospitals; the men in zinc, the “200s” being sent home, and a high risk of becoming one. “When we were on the train to Rostov last month, I had no idea we were to go to Ukraine; we all believed they brought us to a base for the usual routine exercises. If I knew it was for war, I’d have quit back in Kostroma, as I have two little children at home,” the paratrooper of the 331st regiment of Russia’s 98th Guards Airborne Division, says.

http://www.newsweek.com/2014/09/19/russian-soldiers-reveal-truth-behind-putins-secret-war-269227.html

Whose Idiotic Ray Rice Comments Look Especially Awful Today?

Ray Rice is cut and suspended, but only after the world saw video of him punching out his then-fiancée. Time to take the tally: Who said particularly ghoulish and horrible things when it seemed like Rice would get off?

This roundup is a good lesson on the familiar life-cycle of domestic violence—defending the perpetrator, blaming the victim—and how that looks when evidence comes out. It's also a never-unwelcome opportunity to keep shitheels from outrunning their shitheel statements.

• Rice's lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, in a radio interview less than a week after Rice took a plea deal. Diamondstein had seen the video, and was "hypothetically" smearing Janay Rice under the apparent belief that the video would never come out.


"This is just a complete hypothetical. Let's assume for the sake of argument, rather than enter into the pretrial diversionary program that Rice entered into, we hypothetically move forward on the case. And hypothetically we litigate 100 motions and the video comes out and the video shows — hypothetically speaking now, hypothetically speaking — shows that Ray wasn't the first person that hit and Ray was getting repeatedly hit but just Ray hit harder, fired one back and hit harder. Hypothetically speaking, and he gets found not guilty. Is that result somehow better? Is it better for the public? Is it better for the Ravens? Is it better for Ray? Is it better for Janay?"


• Ray Rice himself, in his insane press conference with Janay , in which Rice chose to apologize "to everyone was affected by this situation that me and my wife were in," but not to his wife.



• This fucking tweet (deleted soon after the press conference):


Ray Rice: "I won't call myself a failure. Failure is not getting knocked down. It's not getting up."

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 23, 2014



• This fucking tweet (only deleted an hour or so ago):


Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 23, 2014



• John Harbaugh welcoming "heck of a guy" Ray Rice back to the team.


He makes a mistake, alright. He's gonna have to pay a consequence. It's good for kids to understand that it works that way, and that's how it works. That's how it should be.

http://deadspin.com/whose-idiotic-ray-rice-comments-look-especially-awful-t-1632033541

How Police Caught The Cop Who Allegedly Sexually Abused 8 Black Women

OKLAHOMA CITY — Daniel Holtzclaw made a mistake, an Oklahoma County prosecutor argued on Wednesday: “He messed up.”

Holtzclaw’s mistake was pulling over the wrong person: A woman who, when he allegedly assaulted her, wouldn’t hesitate to call the police.

It happened around 2 a.m. on June 18, when Holtzclaw, a 27-year-old police officer, was ending his shift on the northeast side of Oklahoma City. He switched off his patrol car computer. Then, without calling for assistance or otherwise notifying his station, police said, Holtzclaw made a traffic stop.

The woman — identified in court documents as J.L. and in local media reports as a 57-year-old grandmother — said she was driving home after playing dominos with a friend, according to detective Kim Davis, who recounted J.L.’s story at length during a hearing at the Oklahoma County Courthouse.

When Officer Holtzclaw approached J.L.’s car, she couldn’t roll down her broken driver’s side window, Davis said. So Holtzclaw directed her to the rear passenger side seat of his patrol car. He asked if she had been drinking — he had noticed a Styrofoam cup in her front seat. She said no, according to Davis, and that the drink was Kool-Aid. He continued questioning her, and she suggested he go taste it. He walked over to her car, but J.L. couldn’t see what he was doing. When he came back, Holtzclaw asked if J.L. had anything else on her.


WARNING -- UNPLESANTLY GRAPHIC DETAILS AT THE LINK

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/daniel-holtzclaw-alleged-sexual-assault-oklahoma-city

This might be the sickest fuck walking civilized society today...

And I see he bonded out?!?! http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/09/okc_cop_daniel_holtzclaw_relea.html
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