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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 42,851

About Me

I\'m rested, I\'m ready... Is DU?

Journal Archives

Left Behind: The unintended consequences of school choice

Once a powerhouse Class AAAA school, North Charleston High can barely field sports teams anymore. Half of its classrooms sit empty. Saddled with a reputation for fights, drugs, gangs and students who can’t learn, middle-class families no longer give it a chance.

This is the unintended consequence of school choice.

Two-thirds of students in it's attendance zone now flee to myriad magnets, charters and other school choices that beckon the brightest and most motivated from schools like this one.

But not all can leave, not those without cars or parents able to navigate their complex options. Concentrated poverty is left behind. So is a persistent “At Risk” rating from the state.

Today The Post and Courier begins a five-part look at North Charleston High through the eyes of students tethered to a world of dwindling dreams.


The DUers telling everyone for years that "school choice" was a scam? They were right all along...

Meanwhile, in Florida...



Straight Outta Compton and the Social Burdens of Hip-Hop

A few decades have changed a lot about hip-hop, but arguably not that much about America. In 1986, the five black teens who eventually became the legendary rap group N.W.A. struggled to navigate life in Compton amid routine police brutality—not unlike many cities today. The biopic chronicling the group’s rise, Straight Outta Compton, comes at a precarious time in the national conversation surrounding racial politics and police violence—one year almost to the day since 19-year-old Michael Brown was killed by an officer in Ferguson.

The film arrives to the joy of hip-hop fans, many of whom remember Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella and followed their controversial rise to fame. But because N.W.A. made inherently political music—and did so while facing the real-life pressures of excessive policing and racism—it’s impossible to watch without seeing Straight Outta Compton’s urgency and relevance. The biopic highlights how the rappers— particularly the former-drug-dealer-turned-frontman Eazy-E, the hot-tempered lyricist Ice Cube, and the beat master Dr. Dre—were driven to make music by the heavy hand of law enforcement, including the events surrounding the Rodney King beating and the L.A. riots.

Straight Outta Compton reminds viewers that N.W.A. became famous for not holding back about what it was like to be young and black and terrorized by the police. And they did so at a time when the music industry was beginning to figure out how to sell rap music to a broader audience. In tracing the history of N.W.A., the film also highlights a divide that has since sprung up in mainstream hip-hop between the more explicitly political rappers, whose music could alienate many white consumers, and the rappers whose music doesn’t overtly tackle social issues and is agreeable to large swaths of listeners. At a time when the #BlackLivesMatter movement and increased coverage of police killings is dominating the public discourse, Straight Outta Compton raises questions about the responsibility of rap artists in bearing witness, as N.W.A. did, to the problems affecting their communities.


11-year-old Paraguay rape victim has baby, stokes abortion debate

Source: smh.com.au

Asuncion: An 11-year-old rape victim gave birth in Paraguay on Thursday after being denied termination of her pregnancy by doctors and judicial officials, stoking the debate over abortion in the overwhelmingly Catholic country. The former partner of the girl's mother is accused of the rape.

In Paraguay, two girls aged 10 to 14 give birth every day. The cases are often linked to sexual violence. Thursday's birth came by way of a programmed cesarean section, Dr. Mario Villalba, director of the Red Cross hospital where the operation took place, told local radio

"A baby girl, weighing 3.5 kilos, was born without any complications or anomalies," Dr Villalba said. "The post-operative recovery is going very well."

Paraguayan law permits abortion if a mother's life is endangered. In this instance, a panel including medical doctors, psychologists and judicial officials determined that the life of the girl was not at risk.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/11yearold-paraguay-rape-victim-has-baby-stokes-abortion-debate-20150814-giyzkm.html

Fuckin' sick....No words

MH17: Dastardly CIA 'plot' to shoot down plane 'revealed' in Russia

Los Angeles: A Russian newspaper posted an audiotape on its website that purports to reveal two US spies plotting to bring down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine last year.

One hitch: The conversations are so stilted and oddly worded that they have been widely dismissed by native English speakers as obviously fake.

The two men alleged to be Americans, identified by Komsomolskaya Pravda in its Wednesday posting as David Hamilton and David Lloyd Stern, speak with accents and in words and phrases that resemble Russian manners of speaking that have been translated into English and read from a script.

An attached photo is of freelance journalist David Stern, who is based in Kiev and has reported for the BBC on events in Ukraine. The other is supposed to be a David Hamilton who works as an international affairs consultant and an adviser to USAID, a US website reported.

In the series of six recordings allegedly intercepted between the two men said to be CIA agents, they refer to orders from their leaders to implicate pro-Russia separatists in the plane's destruction – a scenario Russia's state-run media have put forward since the July 17, 2014, crash of MH17 in which all 298 on board were killed.


Nothing to see here...Just Moscow creating a laughably fake recording and hoping someone out there is fuckin' stupid enough to believe it...

Boxer Cuts Off Lawyer’s Penis For Sleeping With His Wife

Police in Tokyo have arrested Ikki Kodukai, 24, for allegedly cutting off his lawyer’s penis with a pair of garden shears. He then took the severed penis and flushed it down the toilet.

Kodukai, a Japanese graduate student and boxer, had suspected his 42-year-old lawyer of sleeping with his wife, so, out of revenge, he reportedly showed up to his office on Thursday morning and attacked him. Kodukai got in several punches on the lawyer, but, apparently, that was not enough, as he then took it to whole other level by stripping off his pants and “severing a body part” with a pair of garden shears, then flushing the body part down the toilet. Afterwards, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that the severed body part was indeed the lawyer’s penis.



The Rebirth of Black Rage

There are two quotes from September 2, 2005, that 
have become fixtures in our cultural and political language, and each sums up the ways in which Americans with differing perspectives came to view the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. The first is from George W. Bush: Five days after Katrina tore through the Gulf Coast region, the president landed in Louisiana facing heavy criticism for his administration’s slow response to the devastation. Touring the state with FEMA director Michael Brown—the only person who’d been more heavily criticized for the government’s inadequate response—Bush turned to the man he’d placed in charge of disaster relief and said, “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.” Part of Bush’s appeal had always been his folksiness, but it offered no solace here. His comment only served to further exemplify his ineptitude.

The other quote—what Bush would later call the worst moment of his presidency—came at an unexpected time from a rather unexpected source.

Later that same evening, after Bush’s “heckuva job” comment, NBC did what television networks do during times of disaster and hosted a celebrity telethon. Faith Hill, Harry Connick Jr., Claire Danes, Hilary Swank, Lindsay Lohan, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others stood before an audience of millions, accompanied by the pictures of despair that were still streaming from the gulf—New Orleans in particular.

Also invited was Kanye West, one of the more popular entertainers in the country at the time. He was paired with Mike Myers, famous for his performances as Austin Powers and as the voice of Shrek. Myers read from a teleprompter about the suffering in New Orleans, attempting to build up sympathy before the big ask. When it was West’s turn, he deviated from the script and started speaking from his heart.


Navy budget cutbacks have gone too far...

Voters Are Angry, Voters Are Fed Up, Voters Are Blah Blah Blah

Oh please:

The surging candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are fueled by people’s anger with the status quo and desire for authenticity in political leaders.

We hear this every four years. Voters are always angry. They always prize straight talk. They are endlessly entranced by outsiders. And it's always a surprising new phenomenon.

Can we just stop it? This isn't new. It's an evergreen. But political reporters always believe it, and every four years at least a few of them take a tour of "real" America and find exactly what they set out to find. People are fed up! And yet, every four years a fairly ordinary mainstream politician is eventually sent to the White House anyway. Go figure.

POSTSCRIPT: Someone with access to Nexis should do a stroll through the archives. I'll bet you can easily find at least one example of this in a major newspaper during the early stages of every election cycle for at least the past 40 years.


The Marines Who Took Down the American Flag in Havana

Around noon on Jan. 4, 1961, after spending hours feeding mounds of government documents into an incinerator, three American Marines assigned to the embassy guard force in Havana turned their attention to a solemn task: lowering the American flag.

As they stepped outside, the Marines were greeted by a throng of Cubans who had gathered. Many of them were clamoring for visas, hoping to get a ticket out before diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana were formally severed.

“We looked at the flagpole, we looked at them, we looked at the flagpole, we looked at them,” James Tracy, one of the Marines, recalled. “I guess they got the idea. They cleared the sidewalk.”

Mr. Tracy saluted the flag as Larry Morris pulled the halyard. Once down, Mike East grabbed the tips of the flag as his two comrades stepped in to help fold it. The Cubans gave them polite applause as the men headed back into the building.

On Friday, the three Marines will fulfill an old dream as they return to Havana with Secretary of State John Kerry, who is traveling there to mark the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. The American government has asked the men to raise the flag once again.

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