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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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THE ONION: Now Sadly The Best Time In American History To Be Black

Report: Now Sadly The Best Time In American History To Be Black
NEWS IN BRIEF • Race • News • ISSUE 49•35 • Aug 28, 2013

BOSTON—Despite rampant cultural racism against African Americans in all aspects of American life, discriminatory voting laws, and a vast gap in educational opportunities, there has, sadly, never been a better time than 2013 to be black in America, a Tufts University study revealed Wednesday. “We found that it’s pretty heartbreaking that blacks today are much better off than they’ve ever been, especially because we still live in a country where racial equality remains more of an ideal than a reality,” the study’s lead author Dr. Sam Porter said in regards to the report, which noted that, unfortunately, African Americans have never had it better despite the fact that incarceration rates for blacks are nearly six times that of whites and only 42 percent of black students who enter high school will graduate. “If you don’t think about how—five decades after Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech—it’s perfectly legal in many parts of the country for police to detain and question a person just because he’s black, the findings are not as depressing. But then you do think about that, and then you realize it’s pretty pitiful that what blacks are going through right now in America could be considered a veritable heyday.” The study went on to point out that, on an optimistic note, at least black people aren’t worse off in 2013 than the nation’s women, who are just as fucked now as they’ve ever been.


a sign of things to come...

Charlie Stross: Snowden leaks: the real take-home

We human beings are primates. We have a deeply ingrained set of cultural and interpersonal behavioral rules which we violate only at social cost. One of these rules, essential for a tribal organism, is bilateral: loyalty is a two-way street. (Another is hierarchical: yield to the boss.) Such rules are not iron-bound or immutable — we're not robots — but our new hive superorganism employers don't obey them instinctively, and apes and monkeys and hominids tend to revert to tit for tat quite easily when unsure of their relative status. Perceived slights result in retaliation, and blundering, human-blind organizations can slight or bruise an employee's ego without even noticing. And slighted or bruised employees who lack instinctive loyalty because the culture they come from has spent generations systematically destroying social hierarchies and undermining their sense of belonging are much more likely to start thinking the unthinkable.

Edward Snowden is 30: he was born in 1983. Generation Y started in 1980-82. I think he's a sign of things to come.

PS: Bradley Chelsea Manning is 25.


Who knew that the Chemical Weapons Convention trumps the U.S. Constitution?

Carney pretty much gave away Obama's entire legal argument for intervention:

The Chemical Weapons Convention has more than 150 signatories and makes clear that the use and proliferation of chemical weapons is a clear violation of international norms, and that it is absolutely in the national security interest of the Unites States and in the international community that the use of chemical weapons on the scale that we saw on August 21st cannot be ignored. It must be responded to.

Because to allow it to happen without a response would be to invite further use of chemical weapons and to have that international standard dissolve. And the consequences of that, given the volatility of the region and the concerns that this nation and many others have about proliferation of chemical weapons, would be very serious indeed.

In the Libyan intervention, a vaguely worded UN resolution replaced congressional authorization. A UN resolution is clearly not obtainable for the coming Syrian adventure, so the new fallback is the Chemical Weapons Convention. Apparently the upholding of this Convention is sufficiently vital that it obviates any need for congressional authorization of force.


50 Years Ago Today, Martin Luther King Jr Marched on Washington to Demand a $15 an Hour Minimum Wage

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to deliver his landmark "I Have a Dream" speech.

But while it was an inspiring moment that defined a major milepost in the struggle for civil rights, King's speech looms so large in the popular imagination that it has cast an historical shadow over King's larger legacy, as well as the rest of the day's events. His was the tenth of ten speeches capping a daylong "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom," and while King strayed from his prepared text to focus mostly on freedom, nearly half of the ten demands (pdf) http://www.crmvet.org/docs/moworg2.pdf specifically articulated by King and the rest of the march's organizers were economic, including massive public works and job training programs for the unemployed, a federal law prohibiting discrimination in public and private hiring, a broadening of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and "a national minimum wage act that will give all Americans a decent standard of living."

"Government surveys show that anything less than $2.00 an hour fails to do this," the organizers duly noted back in 1963.

Adjusted for inflation, $2.00 in 1963 dollars would be worth $15.27 today. And so in a very real historical sense, one of the core demands underlying King's famous "I Have a Dream Speech," was a $15 an hour minimum wage. It is a dream that has remained unfulfilled to this day.

As King and his fellow organizers understood, political freedom without economic freedom isn't really freedom at all. Indeed, King went on to become an outspoken champion on behalf of economic justice for all races—so to emphasize just one part of his dream at the expense of another is to both misinterpret and misrepresent his legacy.


This Is the NYPD's Secret Spy Cab

In Enemies Within, the new book from Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman on the NYPD's indiscriminate and probably illegal spying program, reference is briefly made to a "real yellow cab, complete with an authentic taxi medallion registered under a fake name" used by the department's intelligence division to conduct surveillance operations. This is that cab.

The photo, which doesn't appear in the book, was provided to Gawker by Goldman and Apuzzo, who will be here next week to chat about Enemies Within. According to Apuzzo, the cab—medallion number 6Y11—is outfitted with state-of-the-art surveillance gear, and is routinely parked outside of New York mosques in an effort to keep tabs on New York's Muslims—all of whom, in the NYPD's estimation, are potential threats to the public order.

The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment. If you hail this cab, don't tip.


WH In Bubble-Don't They Know This Story Will Explode As Soon As They Nominate Summers?

Are they so in the bubble in the White House that they don’t think this story won’t explode as soon as they nominate Summers? I guess so. Well, the fireworks this Fall will certainly be interesting.

Photo ID, Dr. King?

US rules out unilateral military action in Syria

Source: AFP

US rules out unilateral military action in Syria
(AFP) – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia — The United States has ruled out unilateral military action against Syria and is conferring with allies on potential punitive strikes that could last for more than a day, a senior US official said Wednesday.

"Any military action would not be unilateral. It would include international partners," the senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

The strikes against Syria, if ordered, could extend beyond a single day, the official said.

"The options are not limited just to one day."

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hoeKc90VvJCEkSEZAw5n2N9DNp4Q?docId=CNG.c7f3d5d86e44e790c679886c2e48d055.ca1

Kerry’s Chem Speech: Old-School Empire: It’s not about chemicals, or death tolls, or even Syria.

Kerry’s Chem Speech: Old-School Empire
By Gary Brecher


There are three factors that determine how much artificial world outrage a massacre sets off. First, the obvious one: Who committed it? Second: What technology did they use to commit it? Third: Who were the victims?


...................One constant for war news across my whole life is that nobody minds what you do as long as you do it from a fighter jet. It’s amazing. This isn’t as random as it might seem. Those jets are very, very expensive—not just to buy but to maintain, because they’re as fragile as racehorses. So only the big boys, the powers we consider legit, can use them. That’s absolution in advance for anything they do, above all because “opinion leaders” who spin the news know those jets will never be used against them.



Why would the West get so upset, so suddenly, about this chemical attack on the same people who’ve been dying in big batches for more than two years? Well, you have to stand back and realize it’s the same bad old world it always was. You know all those fairy tales where the husband, the legitimate ruler of the house, tells his wife she can go anywhere in the palace except that one room? So she goes into the room and he finds out and her head ends up on the mantelpiece or attached to a silverfish. The point is to teach the boys and girls—especially the girls—listening around the fireside that the man is the boss, and he can make any ridiculous rule he wants.

That’s pretty much what happened here. You’ve got a minority-sect regime faced with a very real existential crisis, facing a much bigger sect and running out of troops. This minority sect is nothing but trouble, and friends with other troublemakers, Iran and Russia and Hezbollah, but the other sect, the Sunni, is a way more serious global threat. So you balance your irritation at the little sect against the guilty pleasure of seeing the other sect, the really threatening one, get “bloodied,” as Michael Rubin puts it. But you also draw a line around one room in the house of horrors, the “chemical” room, and tell your Alawite bitch she can’t go in there, or there’ll be Hell to pay. And you know she will, of course, just like the guy in the fairy tale knows that as soon as he’s out of the house his wife will start picking the lock on the forbidden room.

And at that point you storm back in like God’s vengeance in a John Kerry disguise (which admittedly is about the unlikeliest disguise God’s vengeance could ever take) and announce that the Alawites are expelled from Purgatory, down into plain old Hell. The point is so much simpler than anyone will face. It’s not about chemicals, or death tolls, or even Syria. It’s about reminding two factions in an enemy tribe that you’re still in charge, and you control their death rates even when they think it’s them killing each other.

the rest:
(oh, dear, i feel flames...)

Is THAT So Mr. Carney?

Barack Obama's Q&A
By Charlie Savage
Globe Staff / December 20, 2007
“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat,” Obama told the Boston Globe.


MR. CARNEY: It is correct that the President is working with his national security team reviewing the options available to him to respond to the clear violation of an international norm by the Syrian regime with the use of, on a significant scale, chemical weapons against innocent civilians,

as I made clear, it is clearly in the United States' national security interests that that norm be maintained because the consequences of that standard dissolving are enormous and very detrimental to the interest of the United States and very detrimental to the international community, to our allies and partners in the region, and to the world at large.

Q But you're saying that's the standard today. But I'm saying the standard in 2007 to candidate Obama was an actual or imminent threat to the nation. Do you believe that exists right now, an actual imminent threat to the United States?

MR. CARNEY: I believe that absolutely allowing the use of chemical weapons on a significant scale to take place without a response would present a significant challenge to or threat to the United States' national security interests.

Q Not just to our allies in the region, but to the United States?

MR. CARNEY: Correct.


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