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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: 37,846

Journal Archives

why have threads accusing any dissenters of being 'infiltrators' become acceptable now??

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025036592

It's getting to the point where posters are targeting me personally...

The House Passes a Journalism Shield Law and Nobody Notices

One of my little congressional obsessions is the under-the-radar success of Rep. Alan Grayson, the Democrat who became despised by Republicans in his first term (2009-2011), lost by 20 points, and after returning via a new, safe, seat, became a master of the amendment process. This week, he managed to attach this amendment to a mini-omnibus funding bill:



It worked -- the amendment sailed through, supported by 53 Republicans and all but 17 of Grayson's fellow Democrats.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/05/31/the_house_passes_a_journalism_shield_law_and_nobody_notices.html

Bravo, Mr. Grayson...Some like to talk about doing shit; while others go out and do it without the fanfare or publicity whoring...

Did I miss anything interesting on NBC tonight?

Was there real, honest-to-god journalism on display? Or was it another cookie-cutter hagiography from Williams, like this notable example from two years ago: http://www.salon.com/2012/05/03/nbc_news_top_hagiographer/

Please tell me that Greenwald did the honorable thing by stopping Williams mid-question to harshly rebuke his subservient, obsequious softballs and telling Williams what a disgrace he's been to the once-proud journalistic legacy of one of our nation's oldest networks...Please tell me that Greenwald hijacked the remainder of the interview so he could use the rest of the airtime lecturing everyone about the plagues of cowardly boilerplate PR journalism, selling out for access, shameless biases, paycheck copy, hypocrisy, revenge journalism, outright fabrication, etc., and the negative roles they play in shaping public opinion in our national psyche...And finally please tell me Greenwald topped off this rant by detailing with chapter and verse how *EVERY* mainstream journalist except him (especially those operating in that infamous, influence-thirsty D.C. Beltway -- New York corridor) has forever betrayed the very essence of the lofty ideals which gave birth to Amendment I of the Constitution for the United States of America...

Anything less than this; well, I'm glad I missed it...

Bashar al-Assad posts a letter of support from a Virginia state senator

A letter from Virginia state Sen. Richard Black praising Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was posted to the Syrian president's Facebook page Sunday. Black (R-Loudoun County) confirmed sending the letter in a phone call with The Post's Laura Vozzella.

"I write to thank the Syrian Arab Army for its heroic rescue of Christians in the Qalamoun Mountain Range," the letter begins. Black praises the Syrian army's efforts against the forces that have been challenging Assad's power for several years, which the letter claims are "dominated by our arch-enemy Al Qaeda." By protecting Christians in the country, Assad has "followed the practice of father by treating with respect all Christians and the small community of Jews in Damascus." Black provided The Post with a copy of the letter he sent.

"If we were to topple President Assad, then Syria would be taken over by al-Qaeda’s allies," Black said. "I don't need to debate anyone over whether he's a great man or not, but to me, the decision is a very clear decision between al-Qaeda and President Assad. Now President Assad and his father before him have maintained peace with Israel for 40 years and they have protected the 15 percent Christian minority in Syria during that time."

"Whatever a person's view is of President Assad, he certainly has never exhibited the savagery of these jihadist groups fighting against him."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/05/27/bashar-al-assad-posts-a-letter-of-support-from-a-virginia-state-senator/


Holy damn...If a Dem penned this letter the national media would have had a field day...

Another victory in President Obama's war on education:

:large

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to reform execution method

Harlem mourns death of Elombe Brath, lifelong warrior in battle for pan-African empowerment

Harlem is bidding farewell to an indefatigable freedom fighter and pan-African activist who waged a decades-long battle for black empowerment at home and around the world.

Elombe Brath died Monday night at Amsterdam Nursing Home in Harlem. He was 77.

Brath, the Brooklyn-born pioneer who grew up in Harlem and Hunts Point, founded the Patrice Lumumba Coalition in 1975.

The Harlem-based group spread word of the ongoing struggle against oppression in Africa and mobilized local support in the fight against apartheid.

In 1977, the group organized a much-publicized boycott of “Ipi Tombi,” a South African musical that was being produced on Broadway, for allegedly exploiting African artists and culture and presenting a false portrayal of life under apartheid.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/harlem-mourns-death-activist-elombe-brath-article-1.1800926

The errors of Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald

Edward Snowden is a child of the internet and at the same time an old American type—the solitary individual whose religion is conscience, and who follows his own regardless of where it takes him. The type goes back to the English Protestant dissenters who settled the New World in the 17th century. Its most eloquent exemplar was Henry David Thoreau, who wrote in “Civil Disobedience” (1849): “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.” Thoreau withdrew to a cabin on Walden Pond, and he refused to pay taxes in protest against the Mexican War and slavery. Snowden lives in the hyperconnected isolation of the internet, and in June 2013 he committed what might have been the largest breach of state secrecy in American history, exposing the extent of internet and phone surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

In the famous hotel-room interview in Hong Kong that revealed his identity on video, Snowden said: “If living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept—and I think many of us are, it’s the human nature—you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large pay cheque for relatively little work, against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching your shows.” It sounds like the quiet desperation Thoreau attributed to most of his fellow men. But if, like Snowden, you can’t rest until you’ve tested the courage of your conviction by taking radical action, then “you realise that you might be willing to accept any risk and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is.” As things turned out this proved not to be quite true—instead of returning to the US to face trial and the possibility of a long jail term, Snowden fled to Russia and sought asylum. But what matters more is that this is the kind of person he wanted and imagined himself to be.

Not caring about the outcome is what Max Weber, in “Politics as a Vocation,” called “the ethic of ultimate ends,” in contrast with “the ethic of responsibility.” There are many reasons to criticise this ethic and the uncompromising Thoreauvians who wear it as a badge of honour, but one has to admit that the issue of mass surveillance in America would not have come to public attention without a type like Snowden. A troubled but basically loyal official who passed his concerns along internal channels would have been turned aside, as others before Snowden were. The dire consequences for disclosing top secrets would have deterred anyone who hadn’t arrived at the Manichean either/or that drove Snowden to plan his massive document leak methodically over many months. The scale of it—nearly two million documents, by some accounts—is a measure of the purity of his conviction. No particle of nuance could be allowed to adulterate it. He has been accused of grandiosity, but nothing short of that would have done the job.

Politically, Snowden’s views fall into a related American tradition, going back to Thomas Jefferson and the even more radical founders, though in a distinctly contemporary form. Snowden is a libertarian whose distrust of institutions and hostility to any intrusion on personal autonomy place him beyond the sphere in American politics where left and right are relevant categories. A temperament as much as a philosophy, libertarianism is often on the verge of rejecting politics itself, with its dissatisfying but necessary trade-offs; it tends toward absolutist positions, which grow best in the mental equivalent of a hermetic laboratory environment. Libertarianism has become practically the default position of young people who work in technology, especially the most precocious among them. It also reflects, though not completely, the political outlook of Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian columnist whom Snowden chose to receive the files, and who has just published his account of the story, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Surveillance State.

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/the-errors-of-edward-snowden-and-glenn-greenwald/#.U30M6Sjpbcs

A nuanced, even and very well thought-out critique of the whole sideshow...

EDIT: Mona Holland is of course the first commenter...Does she even have a job? Or is she paid to attack any critique of Greenwald (even balanced, light critiques) no matter how random or obscure the source?

Meet the Black Officer Who Went Undercover as a KKK Member

Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.

Retired police Sgt. Ron Stallworth's story—about how he, a black undercover Colorado cop, infiltrated one of the nation's most notorious hate groups in 1978—is one such truth. Stallworth, 61, recently released the book Black Klansman, detailing his amazing story during his early years of service.

"I was sitting in my office reading the newspaper," Stallworth, who now lives in Utah, told The Root. "I was going through the classified section, and on this particular day there was an ad that said 'Ku Klux Klan.' "

It listed a post office box to send inquiries, and so he wrote a letter, identifying himself as a white man and peppering the note with racial slurs. The undercover officer, who was still in his 20s at the time, did make one crucial mistake, however: He signed the letter with his real name. He wasn't too worried, though, since he figured the whole setup was probably a joke.

It wasn't until he got a phone call a week later from the local KKK organizer about starting a Colorado Springs chapter that he realized how serious the ad was.

Stallworth told the man that his sister was dating a "n--ger," and how mad it made him. The organizer liked his story and figured that Stallworth was exactly what the new chapter needed. He asked to meet—which was obviously a problem. But the quick-thinking officer gave a description of one of his close friends, who worked in the narcotics division, and organized a meeting for the following week.

Stallworth's friend Chuck would play "the white Ron Stallworth."

"The funny thing is that Chuck's voice totally distinctive mine," Stallworth said. He was only questioned about the different voices once—and he successfully blamed the flub on a sinus infection.

There was only one other time when Stallworth's cover was almost blown: after his supervisor assigned him to be then-Grand Wizard David Duke's bodyguard.

" was planning a publicity blitz in Colorado Springs. He was coming into town to do interviews and try to drum up interest," Stallworth said. "I got assigned to be his bodyguard because there were death threats against him."

At the time, Stallworth was having fairly regular phone conversations with at least three Klansmen, including David Duke. "I was apprehensive that they would recognize my voice," the retired officer said.

Stallworth remembered how seemingly amiable Duke was. He was likable enough and intelligent, a great orator, and never used slurs about black people or wore his robe. The Grand Wizard even shook Stallworth's hand and thanked him.

http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/05/meet_the_black_officer_who_went_undercover_as_a_kkk_member.html?wpisrc=mostpopular

Danville native Wendell Scott to become first African-American in NASCAR's Hall of Fame

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -
Danville native Wendell Scott will become the first African-American inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

NASCAR announced its inductees for the Class of 2015 on Wednesday. The Class of 2015 also includes Bill Elliott, Joe Weatherly, Rex White, and Fred Lorenzen. Scott was the first African-American to win a NASCAR premiere series race.

Elliott received 87 percent of the vote, and was followed by Scott at 58 percent.

Also, Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles is one of five recipients of NASCAR's inaugural Landmark Award.

Here is the news release from NASCAR:

NASCAR announced today the inductees who will comprise the 2015 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person group – the sixth in NASCAR Hall of Fame history – consists of Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White. In addition, NASCAR announced that Anne B. France won the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Next year’s Induction Day is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, broadcast on NBC Sports Network from Charlotte, N.C.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte to vote on both the induction class of 2015 and the Landmark Award. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France made the announcements this afternoon in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.”

Next year’s class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which for the first time included the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion – in this case, Jimmie Johnson. The panel also included representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders and a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com – which counted for the 54th and final vote. In all, 54 votes were cast, with two additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Jerry Cook and Robert Yates). The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.

Voting for next year’s class was as follows: Bill Elliott (87%), Wendell Scott (58%), Joe Weatherly (53%), Rex White (43%) and Fred Lorenzen (30%).

The next top vote-getters were Jerry Cook, Robert Yates and Benny Parsons.
Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in order of votes received, were Wendell Scott, Bill Elliott, Benny Parsons, Rex White and Terry Labonte.

The five inductees came from a group of 20 nominees that included, in addition to the five inductees chosen:Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, O. Bruton Smith, Mike Stefanik, Curtis Turner and Robert Yates.

As was announced last December during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week, potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role.

The five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award were France, H. Clay Earles, Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier.

http://www.wdbj7.com/sports/danville-native-wendell-scott-to-become-first-africanamerican-in-nascars-hall-of-fame/26102774
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