marble falls's Journal
Name: herb morehead
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:49 AM
Number of posts: 5,256
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:49 AM
Number of posts: 5,256
There are a few things that seem fairly clear about the Russian government. First, it loves to censor stuff, preferring whitelists to blacklists. Secondly, the Russian government isn't so big on this whole free speech thing, and it's even less enthused about anonymous speech. Also, we know that the Russian government likes to limit what it calls "obscenities," which not only feature your common curse words and YouTube style internet comments, but also anyone who is gay and likes being gay enough to tell someone else that being gay ain't so bad. And, finally, I now know the Russian government sucks at irony.
I say that because a language art website in Russia that published a bunch of satirical material on how gay people give the Kremlin the censorious heebie-jeebies has been itself censored.
In August, Russian-language art website published two satirical ebooks spoofing Russia's new anti-gay propaganda" laws, Homosexuality for Kids and Lesbianism for Kids. Now, they along with their entire blogging platform, is apparently banned in Russia. The two gay "guidebooks" are full of explicit images and tongue-in-cheek pronouncements like "Sometimes, when you look at another boy, you suddenly feel happy and strange." But as Animal New York points out, "one look through them and you know they're not gay textbooks for children. If you don't, you are silly or tyrannical Kremlin minion."
Luckily for Looo.ch, being banned by one of America's geopolitical adversaries is a great way to get blogs to write about you here in the U.S.. So what is looo.ch? It's the online home of New York-based Ukranian artists Anatoli Ulyanov and Natasha Masharova. The site is a raw, intriguing collection of projects, many of which seem to be direct provocations of Russia's overzealous web censors, recently empowered by the blacklist law that allows sites to be blocked if they are deemed to contain "information dangerous for children."
Posted by marble falls | Thu Sep 26, 2013, 09:52 PM (3 replies)
Deaf Boy Tasered for being Deaf
For the past year, I have been writing about a persistent pattern of police violence against people with disabilities. I wrote about it in The Nation and have been particularly focused on the Ethan Saylor case.
But the stories proliferate, with a new one almost every week. I've argued that you can read both the Times Square police shooting and the Ferrell case through the lens of police not knowing/caring how to respond to people acting "differently." The racial reading is of course front and center for that second case, of course, but seen through the lens of trying to explain how Ferrell is acting, temporarily disability following an accident makes sense.
Alas, the stories proliferate, many of them following the general pattern that I call the cult of compliance, a pattern of behavior in which police respond to non-compliance with violence. I argue that the pattern extends beyond disability, but that cases of disability are particularly acute.
Digby, who is one of the leaders on this topic, brought this story to my attention as the latest example of the horrific consequences of the cult of compliance.
A deaf boy was escaping abuse and ran away from a school. The police found him, approached, then tasered him when he didn't respond. Here's the key paragraph -
Police arrived at the construction site after dark. Knowing the boy was deaf, they allegedly made no effort to warn or communicate with him, but Tasered him from behind. As A.M. writhed on the ground from the “burns, paralysis and pain” caused by the Taser barbs, the two police officers rushed him and placed him in handcuffs.
There's a lawsuit, some money will change hands, and in no way will the cult of compliance be threatened.
It's worth thinking through this scene from the perspective of the police officer. It's dark. He knows the boy is deaf so can't be verbally controlled. At that point he just decides to solve the problem with a quick jolt of 40,000 volts. Does he talk about it with his partner first? I suppose they are worried he'll run away again (a reasonable guess given the awful situation).
We need to assert our right NOT to be tasered just because the police want us to comply. It's crazy that we have to even argue for this. But we do. To protect the deaf. Other people with disabilities. And every one of us.
Posted by marble falls | Mon Sep 23, 2013, 08:48 PM (16 replies)
Source: All Voices
Lavrov accuses US of blackmailing Russia to approve military force in Syria
Moscow : Russia | Sep 22, 2013 at 8:14 AM PDT
By JOHNTHOMAS DIDYMUS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
John Kerry meets with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss Syrian chemical weapons plan
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is accusing the US of threatening to withdraw support for Syria's entry into the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) if Russia does not agree to a UN resolution under "Chapter 7" that would allow military intervention in Syria.
According to Russia Today, Lavrov said in an interview, “Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: 'If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).' This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry."
Speaking in an interview Sunday, Lavrov said he was surprised that the US was now pressuring Russia to agree to a resolution that will allow military intervention in Syria. He described the Western approach to the Syrian crisis as "negligent."
He alleged that the primary interest of the US was regime change in Syria and not peaceful resolution of the conflict. He said, "Our partners are blinded by an ideological mission for regime change. They cannot admit they have made another mistake.”
JOHNTHOMAS DIDYMUS is based in Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
Read more: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/15599287-lavrov-accuses-us-of-blackmailing-russia-to-pass-resolution-approving-military-force-in-syria
Posted by marble falls | Sun Sep 22, 2013, 11:20 PM (13 replies)
White Supremacists Use Black-on-White Crime as Propaganda Tool
http://www.adl.org/combating-hate/domes ... j-iIRDiWco
Long a source of irritation for white supremacists, angry claims of an epidemic of black-on-white crime (often simply referred to as "black crime") have drifted closer to the mainstream since the controversial shooting in Florida of Trayvon Martin, a young African-American male, by George Zimmerman (who has been described in the media as a white Hispanic). Following the assertions, extremists have repeated their claims that a large number of white victims are being ignored. And now even some mainstream commentators have taken up the issue and have used rhetoric similar to that used by the white supremacists to attack the media for allegedly discounting white victims of crime.
White supremacists calls for action against "black crime"
Even as they deny "whiteness" to George Zimmerman, white supremacists have been busy exploiting the controversy caused by Zimmerman's alleged act of self-defense against an African-American. White supremacists have renewed their calls for actions against so-called "black crime," which they equate with hate crimes. Hate crimes, however, have a very specific meaning: they are criminal offenses against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. White supremacists believe that any crime committed by an African-American against a white person is motivated by race.
On Stormfront, a popular white supremacist Internet forum, one poster recently asked people to join in a planned rally against black crime in Knoxville, Tennessee, scheduled for June 2012. The purpose of the rally would be to protest against new trials for black assailants who allegedly tortured and murdered a young white couple in that city in 2007. At that time, the incident mobilized the white supremacist community, which held rallies and distributed flyers that accused the media of ignoring what they considered to be a heinous hate crime. Police in Knoxville who investigated the crime said that the victims had not been targeted because of their race.
In May 2012, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) announced that it would investigate a number of alleged incidents around the country in which whites were reportedly the victims of crimes committed by black youths or other minorities. In particular, the NSM mentioned an alleged attack against two white reporters by black youths in Norfolk, Virginia, and assaults against white men in Mobile, Alabama, and Baltimore, Maryland. The NSM has called for hate crime charges to be filed in these cases and wrote on its Web site that "if the roles had been reversed and it was a White mob that had attacked a Black citizen, it would have been labeled a 'lynching' by the major media…We have discovered a disturbing pattern of the systematic cover up and refusal of prosecutors to prosecute offenders under these statutes when the perpetrators are Black and the victims are White."
That same month, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan posted "a warning for white Americans" on their message board that claimed that there has been a significant rise recently in violent black-on-white crime across the country and that "this new racially motivated pandemic is mostly ignored by the liberal news media." The group asserted that it will organize a national distribution of fliers across the county "warning White Americans of the dangers to them and their families when approached by large groups of blacks." They added: "The Liberal Government jew media refuse to report fairly on these hate crimes so it our duty war our fellow Kinsmen of the violence being perpetrated against our Great Race."
On May 11, 2012, the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) posted an article on its Web site that claimed that a New Jersey newspaper had "censored" the race of the alleged assailants in what it called "savage mob attacks" on five white concertgoers in New Jersey. The CofCC dismissed both the newspaper and police accounts portraying the incident as an "isolated event." According to the CofCC, "almost as alarming as the epidemic violent crime being perpetrated against white people is the blatant media censorship and black-out of the racial element of the incidents."
Mainstream commentators take up the issue of white victims
Though more numerous now, such claims by white supremacists are not new. Recently, however, some mainstream commentators have begun to parrot some of the claims traditionally relegated to white supremacists. In particular, the commentators have attempted to make the case that there is significant racially-motivated violence in the United States in which whites are ignored victims.
A May 20 article on the blog Buzzfeed compiled a number of incidents in which mainstream commentators such as Bill O'Reilly, a Fox News show host, and Thomas Sowell, a National Review columnist, have asserted that the media is ignoring alleged hate crimes against whites as part of an active effort to hide reverse racism.
In early May 2012, O'Reilly focused several shows on the April 2012 incident in Norfolk, Virginia, in which two white reporters with the Virginia –Pilot newspaper were allegedly attacked by a group of black youths. According to O'Reilly, both the local media and police ignored the racial overtones of the assault and labeled the incident as a simple assault. On one show, O"Reilly claimed that " did not want to get in the middle of the racial aspect." Dave Parker, a reporter on O'Reilly's show who commented on the case on air, asserted that "if these races were reversed," it would be "a huge national story." On his show, O'Reilly said that the country was afraid of African-Americans. Though O'Reilly acknowledged that African-Americans have been mistreated in this country, he still asserted that the story was not front page news due to the race issue.
Sowell, who is African-American, went further in a May 15 column, calling the media's alleged inattention to black-on-white crime "a censored race war." Sowell also referred to the incident in Norfolk as well as "unprovoked violence by young black gangs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls, or in other public places…" He added that, "if there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over."
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association has also addressed the alleged issue of black on white crime, blaming President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for ignoring alleged white victims of crime. On a radio show on May 24, 2012, Fischer asserted, "it's impossible, in their worldview, for a white to be a victim, they can only be perpetrators and blacks can never be perpetrators, they can only be victims. So unless the template for the crime is a white person committing a crime against a black person, they're just completely uninterested. They are not interested in justice, they are interested in racism and pressing their view of race."
The conspiracy-oriented right-wing newspaper, World Net Daily, published an article on May 3 titled, "Wave of Black Mobs Brutalizing Whites." In the article, author Chelsea Schilling asserted that, "in a wave of black-on-white crime since the February Trayvon Martin slaying, reports are emerging of dozens of brutal assaults by black mobs and assailants against white victims—and some attackers are citing the revenge for the Martin slaying as a reason for their aggression." Amazingly, in discussing one incident, Schilling's article reproduced a photo from the white supremacist Newsnet 14 Web site and used as a source prominent South Carolina white supremacist Kyle Rogers, a leader with the CofCC, describing him as a "reporter." The alleged victim, moreover, had reported his version of the incident to a number of white supremacist Web sites.
In this instance, at least, some of the information in an allegedly mainstream article had come directly from white supremacist sources.
Posted by marble falls | Sun Sep 22, 2013, 10:12 PM (10 replies)
(CNN) -- The family of a Florida man has released video of his death, hoping to get criminal charges filed against the police officer who ran him over.
On May 8, Marlon Brown was being chased by DeLand police because they allegedly saw that he was not wearing a seatbelt. At a dead-end road, Brown stopped his car and started running.
One of the police cars hit and ran him over, its dashcam video recording the entire incident.
Last week, a grand jury decided not to indict officer James Harris on a criminal charge of vehicular manslaughter. That's when the family decided to go public, and release the video.
The dashcam video shows Harris' police car following two other police cars as they drive down a residential street into a grass lot. The two other vehicles stop but the one with the camera continues to chase after Brown.
As the police car approaches, Brown stumbles and falls. While on the ground, Brown turns and faces the chasing vehicle and within seconds, his face disappears under the hood of Harris' police car. A thud is heard and the car stops.
"I think he's underneath the (expletive) car," a voice off camera can be heard saying.
The city of DeLand has already paid the family $550,000 in a settlement but the city did not admit any wrongdoing, according to Krystal Brown. The family decided to go public with their story and the video in hopes of triggering public outrage that would result in pressure for officials to file criminal charges for Brown's death.
"We're just asking for justice, nothing extra," Krystal Brown said, "nothing no one else would want for their family member. "
State Attorney for Florida's 7th judicial district R.J. Larizza decided to present the evidence to the grand jury instead of filing charges, which he could have done if he felt a crime had been committed.
The video alone prompted DeLand Police Chief William Ridgway to fire Harris.
"The actions taken by Officer Harris that night are not consistent with our department's training, directives, or accepted practices or techniques," Ridgway told CNN, in a prepared statement.
DeLand police are conducting an internal review of the incident. This week, law enforcement officials have been going over more than 2,000 documents to determine whether appropriate tactics were used, whether police policies were followed and if those policies reflect the best way to deal with similar situations.
Brown's family believes the video speaks for itself.
The cops were only trying to deliver a gallon of milk. The police enjoy the chase to the point it has not a thing to do with law and order.
Posted by marble falls | Sun Sep 22, 2013, 07:48 PM (13 replies)
Texas Appeals Court Overturns Tom DeLay's Money Laundering Conviction
AP Photo / Pat Sullivan
Igor Bobic – September 19, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT
A Texas Court of Appeals overturned former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's (R-TX) conviction of money laundering on Thursday, finding the trial court's decision "legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s convictions," KHOU reported.
A court convicted and sentenced DeLay to three years in prison in 2010 for allegedly scheming to improperly influence Texas elections by helping to illegally steer corporate money to candidates in 2002. DeLay has since been waging a lenghty appeals process, and was acquitted Thursday.
Read the appeals court opinion here.
Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/texas-appeals-court-overturns-tom-delay-s-money-laundering-conviction
I hope he is retried and jailed.
Posted by marble falls | Thu Sep 19, 2013, 11:24 AM (11 replies)
Source: Al Jazeera
Russia to disclose new evidence from Assad about chemical attacks
by Michael Pizzi
September 18, 2013 12:15PM ET
Foreign minister says Russia will present UN with evidence implicating rebels in deadly gas attacks
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) speaks with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius during their meeting in Moscow, on Sept. 17, 2013.2013 AFP
Russia has received material evidence from Syria claiming to show that a chemical weapons attack last month was perpetrated by rebels rather than regime forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
Lavrov told Russian news agencies that his government will present the evidence to the U.N. Security Council, but he did not comment on the nature of the evidence nor did he specify when it would be disclosed.
The introduction of new evidence may complicate discussions on a Security Council resolution that would require Syria to immediately disclose the whereabouts of its chemical weapons stores. Under the plan, drafted jointly by the U.S. and Russia, the weapons would then be destroyed, with an aim to complete the operation by 2014.
Chemical weapons experts say that cataloging, relocating and destroying chemical weapons will be exceptionally difficult while Syria is in a full-fledged civil war, but most agree that a successful operation is possible.
Al Jazeera and wire services
Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/18/russia-to-disclosenewevidencefromassadaboutchemicalattacks.html
Posted by marble falls | Wed Sep 18, 2013, 05:54 PM (4 replies)
Democrats hoping for a blue Texas
by Naureen Khan
September 18, 2013 2:45AM ET
It won't happen fast, but renewed energy in party and state's changing demographics give them hope.
DUNCANVILLE, Texas -- On an August afternoon in this Dallas suburb, nine Democrats gathered in the living room of Alice Kinsey, a 57-year-old mother of two, to celebrate President Barack Obama’s 52nd birthday and discuss their party’s future over chocolate cake and lemonade.
Kinsey, wearing a T-shirt declaring “Working Hard to Turn My Texas Blue,” is used to being a political minority -- her parents felt they were the lone liberals in her 9,000-person hometown of Lamesa in the panhandle. But in recent years Kinsey has found herself among more like-minded company. She and the others in the room have worked phone banks together and canvassed all over North Texas.
Democrats in Texas have had little to celebrate during the past 30 years. Since President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Texan Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the state has shifted progressively rightward: In 1976, Jimmy Carter became the last Democratic nominee for President to receive the state’s electoral votes.
But Kinsey and the others are convinced that their party is finally -- really this time -- on the cusp of a comeback, and that Texas could sooner rather than later elect a Democratic governor and help send a Democrat to the White House. With 38 electoral votes, a Democratic Texas would make it near-impossible to elect a Republican president.
Among the group at Kinsey’s gathering was Caitlin Karbula, 24, a staffer for Battleground Texas, a nascent political organization that set up shop in Austin seven months ago with the ambitious goal of ending one-party rule in the state. The project was started by Jeremy Bird, who ran the national field operation for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and has exhibited a talent for coaxing Democratic-leaning, minority and young voters to the polls in key swing states. The organization, which has 19 full-time staff members and has raised $1.1 million this year according to its latest financial disclosure reports, is directing much-needed resources to the state’s starved Democratic Party.
There are smaller victories for Democrats, too. Last year, Mary Gonzalez, a 29-year-old openly LGBT and unapologetically progressive graduate student and activist, ran for a state House seat in a socially conservative West Texas district and won her primary against two male Democrats, and went on to win the general election uncontested.
"No one thought that someone like me would get elected and I think it is an indicator of things that are changing,” she told Al Jazeera. “People are now realizing Texas has much more potential to be progressive than anyone ever thought.”
Democrats in Texas, like Kinsey and her friends, believe that prolonged one-party rule has disregarded the needs of the state’s most marginalized populations -- the legions of low-wage workers in the state, the uninsured, and poor minorities. They also charge that decades of GOP dominance have created a culture of chronically low political participation.
But they see hope in the long-shimmering but unfulfilled promise of changing demographics in Texas, where 38 percent of the state’s population is Latino, a population that sides with Democrats nationally by a 2-1 ratio. Add in the new political infrastructure being built by Battleground Texas, and the recent infusion of energy in the party, led by Davis, and a Texas Democrat could believe that a purple Texas is at least in the realm of possibility.
“An immediate turnaround would be very difficult,” said former Sen. Bob Krueger, one of the last Democrats to have held statewide elected office in Texas -- and that was for all of five months in 1993.
Making matters more difficult is Texas’ new voter ID law, expected to take effect in 2014, which opponents say is designed to disenfranchise minorities and other Democratic-leaning voters. Under the new law, conceal-carry gun licenses are an acceptable form of ID at the polls; student ID cards are not. State GOP lawmakers have also used their dominance of the Texas House and Senate to redraw districts to maximize Republican voting power.
Meanwhile, Democrat hopes that Texas could turn blue if demographic trends persist and the GOP is unable to expand its appeal to Hispanic voters is nothing new -- political analysts and pollsters have been making those predictions for almost a decade.
Hispanics accounted for two-thirds of the state’s growth from 2000 to 2010, according to Census figures. But so far, Hispanic voters have not helped tilt elections toward Democrats as they have in some other states, like New Mexico, Nevada, California, and even Virginia. Nate Cohn of The New Republic posits that Latinos’ share of the voting-eligible population is just too low -- 26 percent versus the 57 percent of the electorate that is white -- and that Democrats would have to achieve record minority turnout and increase Obama’s popularity among white voters in order to win.
Progressive activists insist that the deeply-rooted culture of voter disengagement in the state is to blame, but that it can be changed. Texas ranked 48th in voter turnout in 2012, with 50.1 percent of all eligible voters showing up at the polls, according to an analysis by Nonprofit Vote, a nonpartisan organization that seeks to increase civic participation. Hispanic turnout in the state was even more dismal: 38.8 percent, according to Census figures.
Tilling the soil
Posted by marble falls | Wed Sep 18, 2013, 05:44 PM (5 replies)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For nearly three years, government officials got hold of data on thousands of domestic phone numbers that they shouldn't have had. And then, according to documents released today, they misrepresented to a secret spy court what they had done, in order to get the program reauthorized.
The Obama administration had to release the documents as part of a lawsuit by a civil liberties group. They show that National Security Agency analysts routinely exceeded their mission to track only phone numbers with reasonable connections to terrorism.
The administration had earlier conceded that the surveillance program scooped up more domestic phone calls and emails than Congress or the court had authorized. But many of the details weren't known until today.
The NSA told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that it had misunderstood restrictions on accessing data once it was archived. But in March of 2009, Judge Reggie Walton wrote that the explanation was hard to believe. He was so fed up with the government's overreaching that he threatened to shut down the surveillance program.
He noted that fewer than 2,000 phone numbers out of the nearly 18,000 on a list that investigators had been working with at the time had met the legal standard under which they could be accessed.
Officials say the complexity of the computer system -- and a misunderstanding of laws, court orders and internal policies -- contributed to the abuses.
There's no evidence that the NSA intentionally used its surveillance powers to spy on Americans for political purposes.
They've done enough unintentional damage
Posted by marble falls | Wed Sep 11, 2013, 08:32 AM (2 replies)
By Paul Wiseman, Associated Press
09/10/2013 01:38:58 PM PDT
WASHINGTON — The gulf between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America is the widest it's been since the Roaring '20s.
The very wealthiest Americans earned more than 19 percent of the country's household income last year — their biggest share since 1928, the year before the stock market crash. And the top 10 percent captured a record 48.2 percent of total earnings last year.
U.S. income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. And it grew again last year, according to an analysis of Internal Revenue Service figures dating to 1913 by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.
One of them, Berkeley's Emmanuel Saez, said the incomes of the richest Americans surged last year in part because they cashed in stock holdings to avoid higher capital gains taxes that took effect in January.
In 2012, the incomes of the top 1 percent rose nearly 20 percent compared with a 1 percent increase for the remaining 99 percent.
But since the recession officially ended in June 2009, the top 1 percent have enjoyed the benefits of rising corporate profits and stock prices: 95 percent of the income gains reported since 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent.
That compares with a 45 percent share for the top 1 percent in the economic expansion of the 1990s and a 65 percent share from the expansion that followed the 2001 recession.
The top 1 percent of American households had pretax income above $394,000 last year. The top 10 percent had income exceeding $114,000.
The income figures include wages, pension payments, dividends and capital gains from the sale of stocks and other assets. They do not include so-called transfer payments from government programs such as unemployment benefits and Social Security.
The gap between rich and poor narrowed after World War II as unions negotiated better pay and benefits and as the government enacted a minimum wage and other policies to help the poor and middle class.
The top 1 percent's share of income bottomed out at 7.7 percent in 1973 and has risen steadily since the early 1980s, according to the analysis.
Economists point to several reasons for widening income inequality. In some industries, U.S. workers now compete with low-wage labor in China and other developing countries. Clerical and call-center jobs have been outsourced to countries such as India and the Philippines.
Increasingly, technology is replacing workers in performing routine tasks. And union power has dwindled. The percentage of American workers represented by unions has dropped from 23.3 percent in 1983 to 12.5 percent last year, according to the Labor Department.
The changes have reduced costs for many employers. That is one reason corporate profits hit a record this year as a share of U.S. economic output, even though economic growth is sluggish and unemployment remains at a high 7.2 percent.
Posted by marble falls | Wed Sep 11, 2013, 08:24 AM (20 replies)