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LuckyTheDog

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Member since: Tue Apr 5, 2005, 09:55 AM
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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 But in 2016, the ‘do-nothingism’ of the 1960s has been replaced by a ‘do little-ism’: a similarly elite strata does just enough to give off the impression that something is being done, but not enough where something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/


The alternative to fervent nationalism isn’t corporate liberalism – it’s social democracy

By Jake Johnson

In his 1946 essay reviewing former Trotskyist-turned-reactionary James Burnham’s book “The Managerial Revolution,” George Orwell made several observations that resonate just as powerfully today as they did when they were first published.

“The real question,” he wrote, “is not whether the people who wipe their boots on us during the next fifty years are to be called managers, bureaucrats, or politicians: the question is whether capitalism, now obviously doomed, is to give way to oligarchy or to true democracy.”

<SNIP>

The so-called “ignorant masses” understand that “there is too much power concentrated in the hands of a few big companies,” and that “the government doesn’t do enough for older people, poor people or children.” But it is elites whose entrenched interests undercut any attempt to remedy these trends.

There is, in short, an appetite for social democracy in the United States, but it is elites — economic and political — who stand in the way and insist that such an appetite is the result of excessive imagination.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/alternative-fervent-nationalism-social-democracy/


After Dallas shootings, former congressman threatens Obama

Former U.S. Republican Congressman Joe Walsh reacted to the murders of five policemen at a protest against police brutality on Thursday by declaring “war” on President Barack Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Snipers from rooftops in Dallas targeted police officers in the city’s downtown, killing five and wounding six more in an attack that police said was a premeditated ambush. It is one of the deadliest attacks on police in U.S. history.

Police arrested three people and a fourth gunman killed himself with a gunshot, according to local media. The fourth gunman had warned of bombs planted in the city but authorities are yet to comment on the validity of his claims.

"This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out Black Lives Matter punks. Real America is coming after you," he tweeted following the attack, before later deleting the post.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/dallas-shootings-former-congressman-threatens-obama/


NATO could be at its most critical point since the Soviet Union broke up

When President Barack Obama touches down Friday in Poland, he'll land on a continent roiled by the British vote to leave the European Union, but he is there to confront the critical juncture facing another Western institution: NATO.

The 28-nation military alliance is contending with a confluence of challenges, including Russian incursions in the east, attacks by Muslim extremists on European capitals and the threat of cyberwarfare. Together, they are testing whether NATO is capable of reshaping itself for 21st-century battles, or at risk of becoming a Cold War-era relic.

Even the Republican seeking to succeed Obama, Donald Trump, has openly questioned NATO's relevance and capacity to serve U.S. interests.

"There hasn't been another inflection point like this for the alliance since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in '89 to 1991," said Ambassador Doug E. Lute, the U.S. permanent representative to NATO.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/nato-critical-point-since-soviet-union-broke/


American Islam: A view from the suburbs

On June 10 Americans celebrated Muhammad Ali as a paragon of athletic prowess, dignity in the face of suffering and patriotic dissent.

But his fellow American Muslims more commonly find themselves cast as a “problem” for American religious pluralism and a threat to American security. They join a long list of religious groups who have faced discrimination and public suspicion on account of their faith. Catholics, Jews, Mormons and many other communities have, at one time or other, been labeled as dangerous outsiders.

In response to this scrutiny and to affirm Islam as an American religion, some American Muslims are turning to emerging institutions that, because they are neither home nor mosque, are known as “third spaces.”

These communities include support groups for converts, virtual communities on social media and blogs, communities centered on devotional practices, book clubs, artist and writers’ collectives, and study circles. Third spaces vary in size. Some have been in place for decades, while others last for a short time. During my fieldwork, I encountered at least 30 such spaces in the Chicago area alone.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/american-islam-view-suburbs/


Thailand’s top female monk hacked the system to bring women into the fold

Dhammananda is a self-described “rare species.” She’s a monk. She’s also a mom. And in the eyes of her homeland’s Buddhist establishment, she’s a feminist insurgent.

Each day, she and her female disciples wear the same clothing: flowing robes the color of ripe mangoes. Their heads are shorn down to stubble. Their possessions are limited to flip flops and little else.

In other words, their day-to-day lives are largely indistinguishable from that of any upstanding Buddhist monk in their native Thailand.

But because they are women, Dhammananda and her flock of 15 female monks are shunned by the state-backed Buddhist hierarchy. This powerful all-male order, known as the “sangha,” regards them as imposters.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/thailands-top-female-monk-hacked-system-bring-women-fold/


The corporate media’s huge blind spot regarding terrorism

By Jim Naureckas

Shortly before the United Kingdom’s “Brexit” vote, the shocking murder of Jo Cox — a member of parliament and a vocal Remain supporter — exposed the racist roots of elements in the victorious Leave campaign.

That much you may have heard.

What you might not have heard about were the suspect’s ties to a neo-Nazi organization based here in the United States. Accused shooter Thomas Mair, The Washington Post reported, “was a longtime supporter of the National Alliance, a once-prominent white supremacist group.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Post explained, “Mair bought a manual from the organization that included instructions on how to build a pistol.” Cox, it adds, “was shot by a weapon that witnesses described as either homemade or antique.”

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/medias-blind-spot-regarding-terrorism/


Obama urged to pardon Snowden before leaving office

Edward Snowden‘s lawyer is renewing a push for clemency for the famous NSA whistleblower from the White House before President Barack Obama leaves office in January.

“We’re going to make a very strong case between now and the end of this administration that this is one of those rare cases for which the pardon power exists,”said Ben Wizner, head of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project and Snowden’s legal advocate.

“It’s not for when somebody didn’t break the law. It’s for when they did and there are extraordinary reasons for not enforcing the law against the person,” Wizner said.

Wizner discussed his plans with the journalist Andrew Rice for a New York Magazine cover story about Snowden. Although Snowden admits that “much of Washington remains hostile to him,” according to Rice’s article, he “is optimistic that he will find a way out, somehow.”

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/obama-urged-pardon-snowden-leaving-office/


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