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Member since: Tue Apr 5, 2005, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 6,831

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Freak show begins: With mix of put-downs and a floor fight, GOP opens raucous national convention

Mixing put-downs with protest, Republicans opened their national convention Monday still working to reconcile themselves to the takeover of their party by business tycoon Donald Trump, who put his unmistakable stamp on the program.

Onstage in a hall bathed in red, white and blue, a parade of speakers sung Trump's virtues, portraying him as strong and decisive, canny and compassionate, unbeholden to Washington and selfless in a way the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is not.

Instead of "a woman who somehow feels that she's entitled to the presidency ... we can go for Donald Trump, a man doing this from the goodness of his heart (who) genuinely wants to help," said actor Scott Baio, one of a grab bag of speakers that included Trump's wife, Melania, but few of the political stars who normally populate the convention stage.

Breaking with the usual protocol, which calls for him to absent himself until his Thursday night acceptance speech, Trump swooped in from Manhattan to offer a brief introduction of his wife, calling her "an amazing mother, an incredible woman."

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/gop-opens-raucous-national-convention/

Trump ghostwriter: ‘Sociopath’ candidate could ‘end civilization’

The aura of Donald Trump – such as it is – largely began with the autobiography "The Art of the Deal," a work that has defined the real estate mogul's public person. But the man who served as a ghostwriter for Trump's 1987 screed has come out publicly as an ardent critic of the now presumptive Republican nominee for president.

Tony Schwartz, who was a prominent magazine writer at the time the book was published, feels a "deep sense of remorse" he helped create Trump, he told the New Yorker magazine in a tell-all feature. "'The Art of the Deal' made America see Trump as a charmer with an unfailing knack for business. Tony Schwartz helped create that myth—and regrets it," the magazine notes.

"I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization," Schwartz told the New Yorker.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/trump-ghostwriter-sociopath-candidate-end-civilization/

Important clarification from the NRA

When we in the gun-nut community said it was the duty of all Americans to take up arms against the government whenever he/she feels personally "oppressed" by it, we were talking only about white people who rise up to oppose tyrannies such as universal health care, gay rights or transgender people in restrooms.

Re: Baton Rouge

Gandhi knew it. MLK knew it. 99.99% of Black Lives Matter supporters know it now. Fighting brutality by the authorities with violent retribution always backfires.

Participation in a cycle of violence, besides being immoral, is a losing strategy. The "powers that be" will always have more guns than you do. You also don't win allies by killing people who have done nothing wrong just because a few people with similar uniforms acted badly.

Has anyone here tried to get involved with Wikimedia Commons?

Has anyone here tried to get involved with Wikimedia Commons?

I have, on two occasions, tried to participate on Wikimedia Commons by creating and uploading images. I use a lot of images from that site, so I figured I should contribute some as well.

But my experience has been dreadful. The website is incredibly hard to use. And when I make a mistake or violate any of their Byzantine rules, the moderators heap abuse on me.

What gives with that place?

In the US, racial inequality starts in preschool

Emphasis added

For the first time in March 2014, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) collected data regarding how early learners are disciplined during the 2011-12 school year.

That report showed that while black children represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment, they accounted for 48 percent of students receiving one or more suspensions. White children, on the other hand, represented over 40 percent of the total enrollment, but a little more than 25 percent of such suspensions.

A suspension involves the removal of a student from school for violations of a school’s code of conduct for one or more days. These violations could vary depending on the state and local school district policies. They could include infractions such as tardiness, dress code violations, failure to follow directions and “willful disobedience.” In public schools, short-term suspensions typically are 10 days or less. More than 10 consecutive days of suspension require greater due process rights.

A March 2016 OCR report shows a continuation of the disturbing trends and disparities of the 2014 report. This time, the OCR provided more data by breaking down preschool suspension rates based upon race and gender. For the 2013-14 year, the report shows that black children attending public preschools were 3.6 times more likely to receive one or more suspension compared to their white counterparts.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/america-racial-inequality-starts-preschool/

Meet Theresa May, the United Kingdom’s new prime minister ('to the right of Cameron')

For May, there will be no “third way” or “Liberal Conservatism”. She is seen as being to the right of Cameron, who represents the more centre-right element of the party.

We can expect May’s leadership to be defined by the Brexit talks. May has cast herself, not just since the referendum vote, but since her arrival in parliament, as a steady pair of hands. She will need to live up to that reputation in a political environment which is unpredictable and tumultuous.

The lack of a longer leadership campaign means that May has not been pressured on any of her policies, nor has she had the opportunity to explain and justify them to the party and the public.

It seems likely that Britain’s new PM will attempt to “steady the ship”, securing Britain’s relationship with the EU. She said as much in a speech outside parliament when her leadership was confirmed. Brexit, she said, means Brexit, and securing a good deal must be the top priority.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/meet-theresa-may-united-kingdom-new-prime-minister/

Reading Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ after the Dallas shooting

Amidst the fallout from last week’s shooting in Dallas, where gunman Micah Johnson killed five police officers, we need to reflect on MLK’s pragmatic triangulation. The differences between then and now are more of degree than of kind. King described one side as “a force of complacency, made up in part of…a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses.” But in 2016, the ‘do-nothingism’ of the 1960s has been replaced by a ‘do little-ism’: a similarly elite strata does just enough to give off the impression that something is being done, but not enough where something substantive is actually done. Incrementalism of the 2010s is a step forward from the ‘do-nothingism’ of the 1960s, but both are nonetheless driven by a similar force of complacency that is characteristic of elite insulation.

King described the other force as “one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence.” Whereas there are reasons to believe that this force of bitterness and hatred exists today, it is important to distinguish the characterisation of these forces. King identifies this other force with black nationalist groups and the Nation of Islam, whereas the shooter in Dallas is, as far as we know, not affiliated with any group. In both instances however, there is an element of nihilism about the inefficacy of mainstream political institutions to address issues of racial violence, to the extent that questions of reciprocity emerge, particularly relating to self-defence. If the police are persistently killing blacks and the institutions supposedly responsible for holding the police accountable find themselves incapable (or unwilling) to do anything substantive about it, then what duties and obligations do these non-rights-bearing citizens have to other members of the polity?

The incident in Dallas has nevertheless elevated this ethical question into a tactical one. Actions that were considered beyond the pale are now on the table. Extending the boundaries in such a manner is frightful, and hence raises the stakes of the political. Individuals will continue to suffer as long as systemic abuses continue to go unabated. The price of exonerating the guilty is to further expose the innocent. We have seemingly reached a breaking point wherein instances of racial violence engender a level of political exhaustion that leads some to perform the ultimate act of political nihilism.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/reading-martin-luther-kings-letter-from-birmingham-jail/

That courthouse shooting in Michigan. Wonder why the right-wing media isn't exploiting it?

This is the (now deceased) shooter:

Not nearly black enough for their purposes.

ICYMI, here is some background:

An inmate who shot and killed two Berrien County Courthouse bailiffs Monday was being prosecuted for allegedly kidnapping a 17-year-old girl, feeding her methamphetamine, raping her and keeping her in a shed, officials said Wednesday.

The details emerged Wednesday, two days after Larry Darnell Gordon, 44, died during a Berrien County courthouse rampage that left the two bailiffs, Joe Zangaro, 61, and Ron Kienzle, 63, dead.

MORE HERE: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/07/13/prosecutor-berrien-shooter-raped-drugged-teen/87037332/

10 things that could go awry at next week’s GOP convention

"It's not the 'Real Housewives' series, but it could be the Real Convention Delegates of Cleveland," said Timothy Walch, an Iowa-based political author who's studied conventions.

Convention organizers plot tightly scripted, carefully choreographed exercises in promoting their candidates. They want party insiders to depart as enthusiastic workers for the would-be president, and they hope to enlist millions of television viewers in the cause.

But something always goes wrong and the infomercial turns into an unscripted reality show. No one can control the weather, a scandal, windier-than-usual politicians. Riots. Strange optics. Awkward vice presidential picks.

The potential for surprises seems even greater this year, given presumptive nominee Donald Trump's disdain for scripts, and his reality TV inclinations.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/10-things-go-awry-gop-convention/

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