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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 39,614

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The Seamy Underbelly Of Ferguson Starts To Appear (Updated)


Whenever things make absolutely no sense, I think it can be said that while it may make no sense to you, it may make sense to someone. And nine times out of ten, what has previously appeared nonsensical may be sensical, especially if someone somewhere is making money from the nonsense.


Very simply, a town that bankrolls itself through racial profiling and harassment of minority citizens in penny ante driving violations which are then ratcheted up in both costs and ramifications through manipulative measures, is EXACTLY the kind of place where a jaywalking offense would spiral out of control. There really is something very systemically awful going on in that town and it is tragic that it took the death of black teenager to draw one's eyes to it. Please follow below for the full, horrifying story.


“Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of 2,635,400,” according to the ArchCity Defenders report. And in 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court issued 24,532 arrest warrants and 12,018 cases, “or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.”


How can this be? we ask ourselves. Well, one of the fruits of disparate policing and the spiraling of charges and the mass transformation of an entire population into fugitives due to outstanding bench warrants is that that same population has now been successfully disenfranchised of their vote. Felons don't vote and fugitives don't vote.

Emphasis mine.

Obama has taken more vacation days than any other president ...

... if you use the 3/5th multiplier from the Constitution.


You Should Avoid These Right-Wing Companies

Note to moderators: entire list shared with permission


As we discussed in our recent article, 4 Ways You Can Effectively Fight Conservatives, there are many things we can do to combat their agenda. We can work to advocate truthfulness, avoid television stations that air conservative Super PAC propaganda. WE can support candidates facing elections against right-wing candidates…

And we can boycott boycott boycott right-wing companies whose products and services help fund the conservative agenda and candidates.

For your convenience, here is a list of but a few of those companies we should avoid. Be sure to share with your family and friends. This is by no means a fully comprehensive list, but it is a good beginning.

As some of you noted, companies like Hobby Lobby and Papa John’s are good ones to avoid as well – however, this list is focused more on larger operations such as those by News Corp and Koch Industries as you can see below.


Be sure not to watch:

20th Century Fox Television programs on other networks (24, Married with Children, etc.)
Big Ten Network (49%)
Fox Business Network;
Fox College Sports
Fox Movie Channel
Fox News
Fox News Channel
Fox Reality Channel
Fox Soccer Channel
Fox Sports en Español
Fox Sports Enterprises
Fox Sports Net
Fox-branded local television stations
Foxtel (25%)
FX Networks
National Geographic Channel (International) (50%)
National Geographic Channel (US) (67%)
Speed Channel
Sport South
Do not watch movies produced by these studios:

20th Century Fox Español
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox movies;
Blue Sky Studios pictures;
Fox Searchlight Pictures;
On the web, avoid:

Authonomy via HarperCollins
Fox Interactive Media
MySpace (5%)
News Digital Media
Do not buy/subscribe to magazine/print publications or read books from:

Barron’s – weekly financial markets magazine.
Big League
Country Style
Financial News
Harper Collins
Lifestyle Pools + outdoor design
Live to Ride
Marketwatch – Financial news and information website.
MasterChef Magazine
Modern Boating
Modern Fishing
New York Post
Overlander 4WD
SmartSource Magazine
Super Food Ideas
The Wall Street Journal
Truck & Trailer Australia
Truckin’ Life
Two Wheels
Two Wheels Scooter
Vogue Entertaining + Travel
Zondervan Publishing

ADI-Pure ®
Antron ®
Brawny brand paper towels and other products;
Chemical products including: •Sure Sol ® products
Comforel® fiberfill
CoolMax ®
Cordura ® fabric
DBE ® dibasic esters
Delica ®
Demak’Up ®
Dixie® Brand cups plates, and other products;
European brands: •Colhogar ®
Georgia-Pacific lumber and paper products;
Inversoft ®
Kitten Soft ®
Koch Agricultural – Operates cattle ranches
Koch Fertilizers
Lotus ®
Man-made fabrics and fibers including: •LYCRA ®
Mardi Gras brand paper goods;
Matador Ranch – Hunting ranch.
Moltonel ®
Northern brand toilet paper;
Nouvelle ®
Oxyclear ™
Performa ®
Polarguard ®
Polyclear ®
Polyshield ®
Soft-n-Gentle® brand toilet paper;
SolarMax ®
Somerelle ® Bedding
Sparkle brand paper goods;
Sparkle brand paper napkins;
Stainmaster® carpet and fabric care products;
Supplex ® Fabric
Tactesse ® Carpet Fibers
Tenderly ®
Thermolite ®
Tutto ®
Vanity Fair brand paper napkins;
Zee brand paper goods

AMWAYproducts (much of which are made in China) including: •Nutrilite ®
Artistry make-up and skin care products
Body Series personal products;
DITTO Delivery
eSpring laundry and cleaning products;
Fulton Street Market products;
Glister oral care products;
Hi-Gear automotive products
Legacy of Clean;
Miss America make-up and skin care products
NUTRIPET ® products
Nutriplant agricultural products;
Perfect Empowered drinking water
Personal Accents ® scents;
Satinique bath products;
The Creme LuXury Collection make-up and skin care products
The NBA ® Orlando Magic
Trend Collection make-up and skin care products
XLP automotive products
XS energy drinks

America’s Racial Divide, Charted

Very interesting stuff. Much more at the link ...


America’s racial divide is older than the republic itself, a central fault line that has shaped the nation’s history. This month it has manifested itself in sometimes violent protests in Ferguson, Mo., after a police killing of an unarmed young black man. The resonance of that event is related to deeper racial fissures between blacks and whites; that divide is the reason that the events in Ferguson amount to something bigger than a local crime story.

What is the state of that larger divide? In what areas has there been meaningful progress toward shared prosperity over the last generation, and in what areas is America as polarized by race as ever — or even more so?


Across a broad range of economic and demographic indicators, the data paint a largely depressing picture. Five decades past the era of legal segregation, a chasm remains between black and white Americans – and in some important respects it’s as wide as ever.

The unemployment gap is virtually unchanged over the last 40 years. The income and wealth gaps have actually widened. So has the gap in educational attainment.

Article includes charted data on education, joblessness, pay, health and other socio-economic indicators. Unfortunately I could not embed any of the charts, but I recommend you check the link.

Furguson Agitator Exposed


Here’s something I do know: one extraordinarily bad way to stand with Ferguson is to show up there, strive to ratchet up tensions with police, tangle with local black leaders about tactics, and insist that the problem at hand is everything everywhere rather than this thing here.

That appears to be the mode of solidarity chosen by Revolutionary Communist activist Greg “Joey” Johnson:

(Video at link. I could not get it to embed)

In another video, Johnson leads a chant against "the whole damn system." Take that! In Ferguson, of course, the outrage is a little more specific: the cops killed Michael Brown and then responded to overwhelmingly peaceful protests with oppressive restrictions and absurd firepower. If you want to be in solidarity with people, protest what they’re protesting. And defer to local leaders, don’t fight with them! They might not be full-time revolutionary agitators, but they probably know a thing or two about Ferguson, its people, and their needs.

According to Chris King of St. Louis American, Johnson was responsible for at least some of the molotov cocktails last night. Yes, some black protesters threw them, too. As Christena Cleveland reminds us, the image of God exists even in the minority of protesters who haven’t stayed 100 percent peaceful.

All solar efficiency breakthroughs since 1975 on a single chart


The National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV), which is part of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), maintains a chart that shows efficiency records for all kinds of research solar technologies, from more vanilla to very exotic flavors (thin-film, single-junction cells, multi-junction cells, organic cells, quantum dot cells, etc). Above is the latest version as of April 2013.

On it, you can see the steady pace of progress and how different solar cell compositions compare to each other. Of course, these record-breaking cells were probably very expensive to manufacture and made only in very small quantities, so don't expect to see efficiency numbers like these in commercial PV... But over time, yesterday's record-breakers become today's mass-market products, so all this progress isn't just for the sake of breaking records either.

Link to much larger chart can be found at the site.

Attorney General Candidate Schimel Has His Hands Full With Happ, Observers Say


Screenshot from Susan Happ's lone campaign ad of the primary season, titled "Susan Happ for Attorney General."
Photo: Susan Happ's YouTube Page.

Conservative blogger and former Dane County supervisor David Blaska has some advice for the Republican candidate for Wisconsin attorney general: Don’t underestimate your opponent. “I think Brad Schimel should be very concerned,” Blaska said. Schimel, the Waukesha Coounty district attorney, is running against Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ. Happ emerged from this week’s three-person Democratic primary with 52 percent of the vote.


The lone ad of Happ’s campaign showed an unidentified person driving a Harley on a country road with the narrator asking, “Which candidate for attorney general has put murderers behind bars, locked up heroin dealers and prosecuted domestic abusers?” Then, the driver is shown standing next to the motorcycle and removing her helmet as the narrator says, “District Attorney Susan Happ.” Happ then goes on to explain that she will fight for women’s rights.


Wausau attorney Christine Bremer-Muggli agreed that Happ is a “formidable candidate.” “Fear the woman,” she said. Bremer-Muggli stated that she supported state Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee, but that she -- and many other women -- can get behind Happ. “I’m happy with Susan Happ,” said Bremer-Muggli. “You know, she gets off that Harley … and I can’t ride a Harley, I’m not strong enough, but she gets off that Harley and she’s a strong woman.”

Bremer-Muggli also indicated that she is impressed with Happ’s credentials and accomplishments in the courtroom. “Susan Happ is a prosecutor who won in a Republican county,” she said. “She’s very charismatic, she’s smart, she knew what she needed to do.”

The Price of Blackness


In undergrad, I drove a '92 Ford Taurus that just hulked, tank-like, up and down the streets of Berkeley. The thing was conspicuous, an ocean liner. I was pulled over all the time, once or twice a week at one point. Often I'd see a squad car following me and just pull to the curb to get it over with. An officer would walk up to the car, one hand on that little button that secures the strap over his gun. He'd ask for my license and registration. Some inner voice would remind me that this was the time to point out I'd done nothing wrong; I'd ask for a badge number, I'd take a stand. But black boys are supposed to know better.

So what I would do was: I would slip my college ID over my driver's license. The officer's eyes would light up. Not your college ID, he would say, amused. Then he would go back to his car and dally a little, pretending to check on things, before handing my license back with some mock-heroic advice about staying out of trouble. The story ends right there. I remember feeling vague anger afterwards, although I was probably feeling something a lot closer to despair. Every time I used the college ID trick, it bred in me a kind of survivor's guilt, a guilt about a life that feels as if it's being protected weakly, through cowardice. Because what I was really doing was saying, Yes, some of us deserve to be shot in the street, but this ID proves that I'm not one of them. I used the little plastic card to secure my status as One Of The Good Ones, and I always drove away ashamed, always. At best, I was reducing my humanity—my right to not get shot by a police officer—to a giveaway received during freshman orientation. At worst, I was just delaying what is now starting to feel inevitable.


Mentally-speaking, what happens when you hear about another unarmed black teen killed by police/police-like officers? For me, it goes something like this: First, anger, a kind of 360-degree, completely unfocused, completely diffuse anger; but since anger is a fairly cheap emotion it fades, and sadness settles in; and then I get that familiar helpless feeling you get when you realize what you're doing is utterly rote, almost Pavlovian, but you don't know how else to deal. To put it another way: For reasons I'm still trying to parse out, I've realized that simply mourning the deaths of other young black men isn't good enough any more.

I don't mean for this to sound melodramatic, because my emotions don't really matter; or, they matter less than a murdered black boy whose body was left in the street. But what I'm trying to describe here is something real, a sinking-in-quicksand feeling familiar to anyone who is tired of the terror—which is the only really truly appropriate term—police officers exact on young black men. When an unarmed black boy is killed by a police officer, again, and some loud-talking reporter is interviewing the boy's mother, again, and you can see his mother's shoulders slumped until they can't slump any more, and she's been crying so much she's gotten to the point of simply not bothering to wipe the tears away, and you watch her as she tries to look into every camera and speak into every microphone, and watch her as she suddenly gets the spectacle of all of this, and starts listing all of the good things her boy ever was, so that everyone can remember him the way she's remembering him right then, in that moment—when will we decide this is not okay?

Open Letter to Our Nation’s Police Leaders - from former Madison, WI Chief of Police David Couper

Retired from the force, Chief Couper is now serving his community as an Episcopal priest ...


But let’s look at one more thing (and this comes out of the ’69 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice and the Kerner Commission Report a few years later): police departments in a multi-cultural society must reflect the communities they serve. And let me add: It is wrong to have a police force 90% white in a community that is predominately of color. Period. No exceptions.


A number of years ago while teaching a police leadership course in a large midwest city, an old grizzled sergeant came up to me during a break, and in response to my comments about the necessity of diversity in policing said, “I know what you’re saying. I am a night shift sergeant and all night long my officers and I go to disturbance calls primarily in the black community. We are all white. We can’t keep doing this. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous — for them and for me and my men. Things have to change.”

We need a “stand down” in policing today. It’s been well over a decade since 9/11 — the day fear took over America and its police and increased militarization was our response.

It’s time to get back to basics and those basics are what we once called community-oriented policing. Let’s dust off those important values and get back to building trust and building it together with those whom we are privilege to serve and to lead.

It's not just Ferguson that's a tinderbox - my state's shameful legacy.

Given the despicable sheriff of Milwaukee County, the peaceful protesters described below are taking a big risk even though they're just praying.


The New Jim Crow has replaced the Old Jim Crow in cities like Milwaukee, neighborhoods like Ferguson, and pretty much every other part of our country. Like Ferguson, Milwaukee has had its share of young black men whose lives have been extinguished simply because of the color of their skin. Milwaukee may not be seeing the protests and unrest that are rocking Ferguson, but with the horrible statistics illustrated in the infographic above, and a growing number of unresolved deaths of unarmed youth in the city, the tinder is certainly there.

This past Sunday, a large group met at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee to march in support of the people of Ferguson. Present at the march were several families and relatives of young African American men killed recently in the city at the hands of the Milwaukee Police Department and citizen vigilantes. Throughout the day a few bravely came forward and told their painful personal stories.

One of those to speak was Craig Stingley. Craig expressed his outage at attending these same marches over and over again without ever getting any results. In 2013, a cashier at a corner store caught his son, Corey, trying to shoplift. When confronted by the clerk, the young African American man got scared, dropped the merchandise and tried to leave, but was forcibly detained by three White men, Jesse Cole, Robert Berringer and Mario Lauman. They put Corey in a chokehold and forced him to the ground. Even when he started foaming at the mouth and stopped struggling, the three men did not release him.

By the time the police arrived, Corey was dead. The cause of death was anoxic encephalopathy, or brain damage caused by lack of oxygen. The entire incident was caught on store camera, and the death was ruled a homicide by the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office.

More at the link.
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