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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,097

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Great news: fewer Americans are smoking than ever before

The smoking rate fell from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 17.8 percent in 2013.

That's the lowest percentage since the Centers for Disease Control began surveying Americans on their smoking habits in 1965 — when more than 40 percent of American adults smoked.

Cigarette smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death, killing more than 480,000 Americans annually.


myself included
quit nicotine 12/1/13

today is my b-day 12/1/51
I am 63 and feeling pretty damn good!

peace, love & tolerance,

Chris Rock: It's not black people who have progressed. It's white people.

Chris Rock: It's not black people who have progressed. It's white people.
Updated by German Lopez on December 1, 2014, 10:30 a.m. ET @germanrlopez german@vox.com

In New York magazine's new Q&A with Chris Rock, interviewer Frank Rich asked the comedian about issues ranging from the events in Ferguson, Missouri, to Bill Cosby's rape allegations. But perhaps the most insightful part of Rock's interview came when he dismantled the idea of "black progress":

When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they're not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before…

So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he's the first black person that is qualified to be president. That's not black progress. That's white progress. There's been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship's improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, "Oh, he stopped punching her in the face." It's not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn't. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let's hope America keeps producing nicer white people.

Rock is essentially flipping the formula. It's not that black people as a whole have somehow changed and can now serve in the highest political office in the country. It's that enough white people — the majority of Americans — have shed their racist beliefs to vote in a black president.


“Kind of cool. I always say, cooler than most politicians, not as cool as actual cool people. He’s not cool like Jay Z’s cool. He’s not Eddie Murphy. But in a world of politicians…”

— Comedian Chris Rock, in an interview with Frank Rich, on his impressions of President Obama.

GOP staffer who said Obama's daughters lack "class" to resign


“We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA,” Amazon said in a 2013 statement."

MONDAY, DEC 1, 2014 03:58 AM PST
Amazon’s frightening CIA partnership: Capitalism, corporations and our massive new surveillance state
Hundreds of millions flow to Amazon from the national security state. It's a kind of partnership we shouldn't allow


“I consulted people I knew fairly high up in the State Department off the record, and they said that they did not have to put pressure … on Amazon for that to happen,” said Robert McChesney, a professor of communication at the University of Illinois, in an appearance on “Democracy Now!.” “It was not a difficult sell.”

And it paid off. A little more than a year later, Amazon was awarded a generous $600 million contract from the CIA to build a cloud computing service that will reportedly “provide all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies unprecedented access to an untold number of computers for various on-demand computing, analytic, storage, collaboration and other services.”[/b] As The Atlantic noted, and as former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed, these same agencies collect “billions and perhaps trillions of pieces of metadata, phone and Internet records, and other various bits of information on an annual basis.”

That is to say: On Amazon’s servers will be information on millions of people that the intelligence community has no right to possess — Director of National Intelligence James Clapper initially denied the intelligence community was collecting such data for a reason — which is used to facilitate corporate espionage and drone strikes that don’t just jeopardize innocent lives, but have demonstrably ended hundreds of them.

Instead of helping expose U.S. war crimes, then, Amazon’s cloud service could be used to facilitate them, for which it will be paid handsomely — which was, in all likelihood, the whole point of the company proving itself a good corporate citizen by disassociating itself from an organization that sought to expose its future clients in the intelligence community.


Way More:

Open your eyes - Open your heart - Justice is blind but we can see

OzarkHillbilly says:
December 1, 2014 at 5:46 am

.....the rioting was Monday night, the board up was Tuesday morning, a call went out and the art happened Tuesday night. My son was there and he said he had never seen so many people there on a Tuesday night before:

More STL:

Tasteless, offensive and inflammatory?

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Police Officers Association has released a statement condemning the St. Louis Rams football players who entered the field displaying the "hands up don't shoot" pose.


"St. Louis, Missouri (November 30, 2014) – The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.

Read the rest & vomit:


Killing an unarmed teenager is tasteless and offensive.

Murdering a child with a toy is tasteless and offensive

Protesting when this is pointed out is tasteless, offensive and inflammatory, and it is high time the police associations quit excusing murder on our streets.



it gets WORSE:

Roorda said.

The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. *Roorda said he planned to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice his organization's displeasure tomorrow. He also plans to reach out to other police organizations in St. Louis and around the country to enlist their input on what the appropriate response from law enforcement should be. Roorda warned, "I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Well I've got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I'd remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser's products. It's cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it's not the NFL and the Rams, then it'll be cops and their supporters."


and check this out:
"*Roorda" is SLPOA business manager Jeff Roorda, a former cop who was fired for repeatedly lying and falsifying reports and who now pushes his anti-transparency campaign in Missouri's legislature. You can read the full statement over at KSDK.



Douglass, in his "Address to the people of the United States" (September 24, 1883), declared:

"Though the colored man is no longer subject to be bought and sold, he is still surrounded by an adverse sentiment which fetters all his movements. In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress ... The color line meets him everywhere ... In spite of all your religion and laws he is a rejected man. ... and yet he is asked to forget his color, and forget that which everybody else remembers. ... He is sternly met on the color line, and his claim to consideration in some way is disputed on the ground of color."

"It is our lot to live among a people whose laws, traditions, and prejudices have been against us for centuries, and from these they are not yet free. To assume that they are free from these evils simply because they have changed their laws is to assume what is utterly unreasonable and contrary to facts. Large bodies move slowly. Individuals may be converted on the instant and change their whole course of life. Nations never. Time and events are required for the conversion of nations."

"The practical construction of American life is a convention against us. Human law may know no distinction among men in respect of rights, but human practice may. Examples are painfully abundant "

the rest:

James Risen: He didn't become radical, the country did

I think my real change came after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. I was covering the CIA as a beat then. And to me, it was fascinating talking to CIA people right after the invasion of Iraq and right before the invasion of Iraq, because it was kind of like privately talking to a bunch of Howard Deans. They were all radicalized against what Bush was doing.

To me it was wild to hear all of these people inside the intelligence community, especially in 2003, 2004, who were just going nuts. They couldn’t believe the radical change the United States was going through, and that nobody was opposed to it. And that led me to write my last book, State of War, because I was hearing things from within the intelligence community and the U.S. government that you weren’t hearing publicly from anybody. So that really led me to realize—and to step back and look at—the radical departure of U.S. policy that has happened since 9/11 and since the invasion of Iraq.

To me, it’s not like I’ve been radicalized, I feel like I stayed in the same place and the country changed. The country became more radicalized in a different direction.


Here are the 17 books Obama bought with his kids

President Obama and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, visited a well-known independent bookstore named Politics and Prose in Washington on Saturday. The visit was meant to show support for small businesses and to mark a day sometimes known as "small business Saturday," when consumers are encouraged to follow-up the big-chain purchases of black Friday by patronizing small businesses.

The visit is perhaps of most interest, though, for the books that Obama picked up with his daughters. It's hard to imagine the purchases were entirely spontaneous — the White House knows presidential reading gets a lot of scrutiny — but it's still interesting to see. The two that most stand out to me are Evan Osnos's book on life in contemporary China — China is a major and quietly successful foreign policy issue for Obama — and Heart of Darkness. I would be very curious to know who in the Obama White House has taken an interest in reading about colonial depravation and horror in 19th-century sub-Saharan Africa.

Here are the books, largely a mix of young adult fiction (Sasha and Malia are 13 and 16), kids' books (probably a gift), and contemporary non-fiction.

Grown-up books

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande (non-fiction, about aging, death, and end-of-life care)

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune Truth and Faith in The New China, by Evan Osnos (non-fiction, a National Book Award-winner about life in today's China, by the former New Yorker correspondent there, who now covers DC politics)

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson (fiction, a National Book Award-winner about growing up black in 1960s and '70s America)

The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan (fiction, a Man Booker Prize-winner about an Australian surgeon held in a WW2 Japanese POW camp)

The Laughing Monsters, by Denis Johnson (fiction, about two illicit businessmen in Sierra Leone and Uganda)

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr (fiction, about a blind French girl and German orphan boy in Nazi-occupied France)

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (fiction, the classic 1899 novel about a European steamboater finding madness and brutality in colonial Congo)

Nora Webster, by Colm Toibin (fiction, about a widowed young mother struggling in Ireland)
Young adult books

Redwall, by Brian Jacques

Mossflower (#2 in the Redwall series), by Brian Jacques

Mattimeo (#3 in the Redwall series), by Brian Jacques

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, by Katherine Rundell

Nuts To You, by Lynn Rae Perkins

Childrens' books

Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, by Barbara Park

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, by Barbara Park

A Barnyard Collection: Click, Clack, Moo, and More, by Doreen Cronin

I Spy Sticker Book and Picture Riddles, by Jean Morzollo


Michelle, Malia and Sasha represent the true side of Black America.

Black boys are "thugs" and black girls are a "spot at a bar". That is the running theme black children hear from the media over and over again.

Michelle, Malia and Sasha represent the true side of Black America. We are your President, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, teacher's and yes even the dreaded Wall Street Banker. We are not anomalies. We are the norm.

I think that there is this idea the Obama family (all of them) are this magical unicorn family that are paving the way for Black America. They aren't. We were always here. It's just finally now that we are being truly shown in America.

P.S. One final note. The controversy with the daughters has just begun unfortunately. College session is just around the corner for Malia. And that is going to bring out a world of racist feelings. I hope that it serves as another teaching opportunity not only for the right but ALSO for the left on the true meaning of Affirmative Action and how it is and ISN'T applied.

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