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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 72,733

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The Racist Killing Fields in the US: The Death of Sandra Bland

The Racist Killing Fields in the US: The Death of Sandra Bland

Sunday, 19 July 2015 00:00
By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | News Analysis

On July 9, soon after Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman, moved to Texas from Naperville, Illinois, to take a new job as a college outreach officer at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M, she was pulled over by the police for failing to signal while making a lane change. What followed has become all too common and illustrates the ever-increasing rise in domestic terrorism in the United States. She was pulled out of the car by the police for allegedly becoming combative, and was pinned to the ground by two officers. A video obtained by ABC 7 of Bland's arrest "doesn't appear to show Bland being combative with officers but does show two officers on top of Bland."

A witness reported that "he saw the arresting officer pull Bland out of the car, throw her to the ground and put his knee on her neck while he arrested her." In the video, Bland can be heard questioning the officers' methods of restraint. She says: "You just slammed my head to the ground. Do you not even care about that that? I can't even hear." She was then arrested for assaulting an officer, a third-degree felony, and interned at the Waller County, Texas, jail. On July 13, she was found dead in her cell. Quite unbelievably, the police reported that she took her own life, and the Waller County Jail is trying to rule her death a suicide. Friends and family say that this scenario is inconceivable, given what they know about Sandra: She was a young woman starting a new job, who was eagerly looking forward to her future.

Sandra Bland was an outspoken civil rights activist critical of police brutality. She often posted videos in which she talked about important civil rights issues, and once stated: "I'm here to change history. If we want a change we can really truly make it happen."

Sandra Bland's family and friends believe that foul play was involved in her death, and rightly so. Their belief is bolstered by the fact that the head sheriff of Waller County, Glenn Smith, who made the first public comments about Bland's in-custody death, was suspended for documented cases of racism when he was chief of police in Hempstead, Texas, in 2007. After serving his suspension, more complaints of racism came in, and Smith was actually fired as chief of police in Hempstead." .............(more)


The Failed Project of Europe

The Failed Project of Europe
Jayati Ghosh

There is a stereotypical image of an abusive husband, who batters his wife and then beats her even more mercilessly if she dares to protest. It is self-evident that such violent behaviour reflects a failed relationship, one that is unlikely to be resolved through superficial bandaging of wounds. And it is usually stomach-churningly hard to watch such bullies in action, or even read about them.

Much of the world has been watching the negotiations in Europe over the fate of Greece in the eurozone with the same sickening sense of horror and disbelief, as leaders of Germany and some other countries behave in similar fashion.

The extent of the aggression, the deeply punitive conditionalities being imposed as terms of a still ungenerous bailout and the terrible humiliation and pain being wrought upon the Greek people are hard to explain in purely economic or even political terms. Instead, all this seems to reflect some deep, visceral anger that has been awakened by the sheer effrontery of a government of a small state that dared to consult its people rather than immediately bowing to the desires of the leaders of larger countries and the unelected technocrats who serve them. There was also anger directed at the people themselves, who dared to vote in a referendum against the terms of a bailout package that offered them only more austerity, less hope and continued pain in the foreseeable future, just so that their country can continue to pay the foreign debts that everyone (even the IMF!) knows simply cannot be paid.

The response went beyond completely ignoring the will of the Greek people as expressed in the referendum, to insist on pushing even worse conditions on them for their resistance. There was clearly a need to punish both the Syriza-led government and the Greek voters for daring to protest, by forcing upon them the most appalling and humiliating terms that have been seen in a non-war situation for a European nation, for the increasingly dubious advantage of staying within the eurozone. ...........(more)

- See more at: http://triplecrisis.com/the-failed-project-of-europe/#sthash.LEgAEGZS.dpuf

Bernard Tomic apologises after Miami Beach hotel arrest

Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic has apologised after being charged with resisting arrest and trespassing by Miami Beach Police.

The 22-year-old was accused of refusing to leave his hotel room after an alleged altercation with staff and police on Wednesday.

Tomic told local television: "I'm sorry for the the disturbance I caused."

Witnesses claim Tomic was asked to turn down his music following complaints from other residents.

According to the arrest affidavit, witnesses said Tomic "pointed his finger aggressively towards hotel security" at the W Hotel after several reports of a raucous party in his rooms. .................(more)


Greece debt crisis: Reforms 'will fail' - Varoufakis

(BBC) Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has told the BBC that economic reforms imposed on his country by creditors are "going to fail", ahead of talks on a huge bailout.

Mr Varoufakis said Greece was subject to a programme that will "go down in history as the greatest disaster of macroeconomic management ever".

The German parliament approved the opening of negotiations on Friday.

The bailout could total €86bn (£60bn) in exchange for austerity measures.

In a damning assessment, Mr Varoufakis told the BBC's Mark Lobel: "This programme is going to fail whoever undertakes its implementation." ......................(more)


Can Redesigned Corner Stores Make Us Crave Healthier Foods?


The ‘Nightmarish’ Boston Hotel Where Workers Have To Deal with Vomit, Blood-Soaked Carpets, Needles

(In These Times) On June 25, workers at Boston’s Wyndham Beacon Hill took to the streets to protest unsafe working conditions, the culmination of an escalating fight over biohazards at the hotel. They charge that they’re routinely exposed to medical waste that endangers both them and, one worker alleges, guests. The hotel insists this is not the case. The fight over working conditions at the Wyndham highlights the myriad dangers hotel workers say they face on the job—some of which could be seriously detrimental to their health.

The hotel is located in the city’s West End district, a short walk from the historic city’s downtown and in the heart of Boston’s cluster of famous medical research and treatment facilities. That proximity is one of the hotel’s advertising points, as it invites guests to stay while they or family members are seeking treatment and recovering from medical procedures, even offering them a discount. It’s also the very thing that employees say may be endangering them. Workers filed an OSHA complaint in May alleging that the hotel exposes them to biohazards on a daily basis with inadequate protective equipment and an utter lack of protocols for handling such materials.

Workers report abysmal conditions that expose them to used sharps and other medical waste along with urine, vomit, blood and feces. The alleged ongoing problem and lack of response from hotel management led the non-union workers to begin organizing around the issue in 2014, reaching out to UNITE HERE Local 26, which represents hotel and other service workers, for assistance. While workers say they are considering unionization in the long term, their priority in the short term was getting safe working conditions and justice in the workplace.

Staffers at Local 26 were horrified by what workers told them. “In 30 years of dealing with the hotel industry,” President Brian Lang of Local 26 told In These Times, “I have never heard of such atrocious conditions as have been described by the workers who work there.” .....................(more)


The ugly truth about Scott Walker's record

"They all appeal to paranoid white voters who want to put black and brown people in their place."

By Ruth Conniff

(The Progressive) “There is still time left to turn things around,” Scott Walker told a screaming crowd in Waukesha as he announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

“To do this we need new, fresh leadership . . . that can actually get things done, like we have here in Wisconsin.”

Wisconsinites, about 60 percent of whom tell pollsters they would not vote for Walker for President, might wonder what their governor is talking about.

Our state lags the nation and is at the very bottom of the Midwest in job creation. Walker’s scandal-plagued job-creation agency has been a disaster—giving away subsidies to companies that took the money and then offshored jobs. And Walker has failed to deliver even 50 percent of the 250,000 new jobs he promised to create when he first ran for governor.


What do voter ID, drug tests for food stamps recipients, warnings about Islamic terrorists coming for your children, Castle Doctrine, and concealed carry have in common? They all appeal to paranoid white voters who want to put black and brown people in their place.

The Obama presidency has exposed a bitter strain of race hatred in American politics, and Republicans, including Walker, are dancing with the devil when they play to their racist base. ...............(more)

- See more at: http://progressive.org/news/2015/07/188220/scott-walker%E2%80%99s-racist-announcement#sthash.00oBfCCt.dpuf

Early-Stage Gentrification: Richmond, California, Residents Push Back

Early-Stage Gentrification: Richmond, California, Residents Push Back

Friday, 17 July 2015 00:00
By Adam Hudson, Truthout | Report

While San Francisco gentrification has garnered ample national press coverage, there is one other Bay Area city experiencing a similar phenomenon - Richmond, California.

Richmond has long been known for three c's - crime, corruption, and Chevron (the city is home to the company's century-old refinery). For years, Richmond had soaring violent crime rates, leading politicians and pundits to deem it a national "murder capital." Additionally, its city council was run by Chevron cronies.

However, Richmond's homicide rate is now at an historic low - the lowest in over 30 years - and a progressive coalition has been running the city council for about a decade. In fact, even though Chevron pumped $3 million into Richmond's City Council election last year, Chevron's favored candidate, Nat Bates, lost to Democrat Tom Butt.

On top of that, Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus has openly expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and has significantly restricted lethal force in Richmond's police department, which has resulted in Richmond police not killing anyone between 2007 and late 2014 - a very rare trend in police departments. However, in September 2014, one unarmed person, Richard Perez, was killed by a Richmond police officer. ..................(more)


Repugs working on bill to roll back auto and rail safety regulations

WASHINGTON (AP) — At a time of record auto recalls and high-profile train wrecks, Republicans are working on legislation to roll back safety regulation of the auto and railroad industries.

A bill approved this week on a party-line vote by a Senate committee brims with industry-sought provisions that would block, delay or roll back safety rules. The measure is to be part of a must-pass transportation bill that GOP leaders hope to put to a vote in the Senate as early as next week.

They are under pressure to act quickly because authority for transportation programs expires on July 31. Without a cash infusion, the government will have to delay highway and transit aid to states.

One provision would block a new Department of Transportation rule requiring that trains hauling crude oil are equipped with electronically controlled brakes that affect cars all at the same time, rather than sequentially. The bill calls for a study of the technology and puts off any regulatory mandate, which could delay implementation for years. ..................(more)


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