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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: 37,442

Journal Archives

The Function of Black Rage

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time. ” – James Baldwin

When the tęte-ŕ-tęte between Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jonathan Chait over black culture, the “culture of poverty,” President Obama, Paul Ryan and American racism started, it was somewhat fascinating, but has become what Tressie McMillan Cottom described as “a nasty piece of cornbread.” It has left a rotten taste in my mouth. That’s mostly because, as congenial as the two have been toward one another, I detect in Chait’s argument one of my greatest pet peeves: a white person attempting to talk a black person down from their justifiable rage.

One of the issues that has come up in this debate is the way these two men view American history. Chait writes:


Coates and I disagree about racial progress in America. Coates sees the Americas' racial history as a story of continuity of white supremacy. I see the sequence (I’d call it a progression, but that term would load the argument in my favor) that began with chattel slavery and has led to the Obama administration as a story of halting, painful, non-continuous, but clear improvement.

What a luxury it must be to define the history of racism in America through the lens of progress.

He goes on:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/179106/function-black-rage

OkCupid protests Firefox over CEO's anti-same-sex marriage donation

(CNN) -- Dating site OkCupid is calling for its members to ditch Firefox and use another browser to search for love. The company is protesting Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, who supported an anti-same-sex marriage campaign. Firefox is owned by Mozilla.

When OkCupid members navigate to the site on a Firefox browser, they are met with a message encouraging them to use an alternative browser to access the site, including Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and the amusingly misspelled Internet Exploder.

"Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure," reads the message.

The page points out that 8% of the matches made on OkCupid are between same-sex couples.

Last week, Mozilla promoted Eich, a longtime employee who was previously the company's chief technology officer, to the position of CEO. The move prompted renewed outrage by third-party developers and employees. Eich donated $1,000 to support Propostion 8 in 2008. The California ballot initiative sought to ban same-sex marriage in the state. The donation was made public in 2012 but Eich held onto his job.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/31/tech/web/firefox-okcupid-protest/index.html

Lufthansa to cancel 3,800 flights over pilots' strike

Source: BBC News

The airline said 425,000 passengers would be affected by the stoppages, due to take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Lufthansa added it would inform passengers via text message or email about the flight changes.

Its freight carrier, Lufthansa Cargo, will also be affected.

Lufthansa said the impact on profits would be "in the range of tens of millions of euros".

"The announcement alone has already caused significant damages since passengers have already rebooked flights and logistic customers have made arrangements with other cargo airlines to secure the transport of their goods," it said in a statement.

"During the three-day walkout by Cockpit teams, there will only be around 500 short- and long-haul flights by Lufthansa and Germanwings," Lufthansa said.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26822280

How to Bake Scientifically Accurate Cake Planets



http://www.waitwow.com/make-scientifically-accurate-cake-planets/

I never had birthday cakes that cool when I was a kid...

Michelle Rhee got a free whitewash on the Today Show...

On March 26, NBC's Today show did a pretty moving report about Susan Sluyter, a veteran Massachusetts teacher who decided to leave the field because of the dramatic changes she's seen as a result of an overemphasis on standardized testing.

But it was the segment after the report that was so puzzling: an interview with corporate education lobbyist Michelle Rhee, who was at the center of a massive standardized-test cheating scandal when she was chancellor of the Washington, DC, school district.

In the piece about Sluyter, correspondent Ron Mott called her resignation letter a "sobering assessment" of the state of public education. Her words certainly resonated with many; as anchor Matt Lauer pointed out, when the Today show posed an online question: "Are standardized tests the best way to have kids learn?," 5,692 voted no, while just 41 voted yes.

Interesting, then, that the Today show would choose to feature Rhee, whose reputation was built largely around the idea that test-taking would be one of the most effective ways to expose bad teachers. Rhee's history on this question is legendary; a famous Time cover (12/8/08) showed Rhee, broom in hand, ready to clean up the messy business of public schools.

But Rhee's record wasn't really up for examination. Lauer's first question:

http://www.fair.org/blog/2014/03/28/does-today-show-know-michelle-rhees-record/

Turkish security breach exposes Erdogan in power struggle

ISTANBUL/ANKARA, March 28 (Reuters) - Turkey's spymaster discusses possible military intervention in Syria with army and civilian chiefs, and days later their words are broadcast on the internet for all the world to hear.

The breach appeared to highlight a disturbing truth for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan: that Turkey can no longer keep even top-level security planning secret, despite his purge of thousands of officials to root out a covert network of enemies he accuses of trying to sabotage the state and topple him.

"This crisis is one of the biggest in Turkish history," a senior government official, who declined to be named, told Reuters. "A serious concern has certainly emerged regarding what follows now...If a meeting such as this has been listened to, others may have. We do not know who is in possession of them."

Erdogan was out of public action on Friday, resting his voice strained by campaigning for local elections this weekend - the first in a string that will decide the future of a man who has reformed Turkey fundamentally but is now accused by critics of authoritarian and divisive tendencies.

Even without the principal actor, the drama played on over the leaked audio recording that appeared on YouTube on Thursday; by far most serious of a stream of illegal intercepts of state communications, many involving Erdogan himself.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/28/turkey-election-idUSL5N0MP3GC20140328

France apologies to Morocco after minister searched at Paris airport


(Reuters) - France apologised to Morocco on Friday after the kingdom's foreign minister was searched while transiting at a Paris airport, the latest incident that has strained ties between Rabat and its former colonial ruler.

The two countries are already at odds over a row that erupted in February when French police tried to question the head of Rabat's intelligence service during a visit to Paris over accusations his agency was involved in torture.

According to various Moroccan media reports citing sources, Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar was asked to remove his shoes, vest and belt at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport as he transited from The Hague to Morocco earlier this week.

His personal effects and suitcase were also searched despite indicating his position and diplomatic passport.

Foreign Minister "Laurent Fabius called his Moroccan counterpart to apologize on behalf of the French authorities for the inconvenience he suffered," foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal told reporters.

"Errors were made at Charles de Gaulle airport. The minister immediately asked the relevant authorities at the Interior Ministry and airport that everything be done to strictly adhere to diplomatic rules and norms that apply to foreign ministers, heads of state and governments," said Nadal.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/28/us-france-morocco-dispute-idUSBREA2R14M20140328?feedType=RSS

What the Kitty Genovese story really means, by Nicholas Lemann

Plucking a few events out of the vastness of the world and declaring them to be the news of the day is a mysterious and complicated project. Sometimes what’s news is inarguable—the outbreak of war, a head-of-state transition, natural calamity—but very often it falls into the category of the resonant incident. It isn’t a turn in the course of history, but it strikes editors as illustrative of something important. Take crime. If crimes don’t involve anyone powerful or well known, they generally aren’t considered news. But a few such crimes do become news, big news, and hold the public’s imagination in a tight, enduring grip.

An excellent example is the murder of Kitty Genovese, a twenty-eight-year-old bar manager, by Winston Moseley, a twenty-nine-year-old computer punch-card operator, just after three in the morning on Friday, March 13, 1964, in Kew Gardens, Queens. The fact that this crime, one of six hundred and thirty-six murders in New York City that year, became an American obsession—condemned by mayors and Presidents, puzzled over by academics and theologians, studied in freshman psychology courses, re-created in dozens of research experiments, even used four decades later to justify the Iraq war—can be attributed to the influence of one man, A. M. Rosenthal, of the New York Times.

In 1964, Rosenthal was forty-one years old and relatively new on the job as the newspaper’s metropolitan editor, an important step in his ascent to a seventeen-year reign over the Times’ newsroom. Ten days after Genovese was killed, he went downtown to have lunch with New York City’s police commissioner, Michael Murphy. Murphy spent most of the lunch talking about how worried he was that the civil-rights movement, which was at its peak, would set off racial violence in New York, but toward the end Rosenthal asked him about a curious case, then being covered in the tabloids, in which two men had confessed to the same murder. He learned that one of the competing confessors, Winston Moseley, had definitely murdered a woman in Kew Gardens, Kitty Genovese. That killing had been reported at the time, including in a four-paragraph squib buried deep within the Times, but Murphy said that what had struck him about it was not the crime itself but the behavior of thirty-eight eyewitnesses. Over a grisly half hour of stabbing and screaming, Murphy said, none of them had called the police. Rosenthal assigned a reporter named Martin Gansberg to pursue the story from that angle. On March 27th, the Times ran a front-page story under a four-column headline:


37 WHO SAW MURDER DIDN’T CALL THE POLICE
Apathy at Stabbing of Queens Woman Shocks Inspector



The following day, the Times ran a reaction story in which a procession of experts offered explanations of what had happened, or said that it was inexplicable. From then on, the story—as they wouldn’t have said in 1964—went viral.

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2014/03/10/140310crbo_books_lemann?currentPage=all

Excellent, excellent piece on how everything isn't always what it seems...

Oh, FFS Kobe!

L.A. Lakers player Kobe Bryant opened up in a new interview with The New Yorker, and one of the issues they touch on is Trayvon Martin and how members of the Miami Heat wore hoodies in his memory two years ago. Bryant admitted he’s not comfortable with the idea of being compelled to defend someone just because they’re black, saying he would rather just sit back and wait for all the facts to come out before passing judgment.

The relevant passage is only available to New Yorker subscribers, but ColorLines reposted it in its report on Bryant’s remarks.


I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”

Bryant’s remarks have already spawned a flurry of Twitter backlash, including from MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/kobe-bryant-admits-he-wasnt-comfortable-with-miami-heats-trayvon-protest/

http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/03/kobe_bryant_was_not_impressed_by_the_miami_heats_trayvon_martin_protest.html

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I hope for Kobe's sake that there is a more generous context of his comments in the full piece...

Joe Gaetjens - the footballer who disappeared

One of the biggest shocks in World Cup history happened in 1950, when the US beat England, thanks to a goal scored by Haitian Joe Gaetjens. After Gaetjens returned to Haiti a hero, he later disappeared and was killed, possibly by the president himself.

Joe Gaetjens made his name on 29 June 1950. "Out of nowhere apparently, my father came and went head first and hit the ball hard enough to change its direction - so the goalie from the England team was going one way and the ball went the other way," says his eldest son Lesly.

The 15,000 football fans in Brazil's Belo Horizonte stadium went wild - moments earlier they thought the US didn't have even the slightest chance of beating England. Even the US coach had described his side as sheep ready to be slaughtered.

While the England players were professionals, the Americans were part-timers - one was a teacher, another drove a hearse for a living and Gaetjens was an accountancy student.

Jo Gaetjens, Paris 1951-52
He was born in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, in 1924 to a relatively well-off family. He loved football and by the age of 14 was signed up to the Etoile Haitienne team where he became known for his goal-scoring headers.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26515082
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