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

Journal Archives

American Psychos

This is old, but I was listening to a podcast last night with Abby Martin (formerly of "Breaking the Set" and her brother Robbie, and they were talking about the threats and vitriol she got after telling the other side of the Chris Kyle story, that he was a racist and psycho. Remind me again who the terrorists are?


MINNEAPOLIS — Journalist Abby Martin has never been afraid to speak her mind, no matter how controversial the topic. What she didn’t expect was that her choice of T-shirt would result in her address and other personal information being leaked online and provoke a storm of death and rape threats.

It wasn’t the first time she’d spoken out against the overwhelming popularity of “American Sniper,” or the way the cult of personality surrounding the film’s inspiration, deceased U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, supports America’s military-industrial complex, so the intense reaction to a recent social media post was unexpected. A week after Martin shared an Instagram photo of herself wearing a “Fuck Chris Kyle” T-shirt, a military veteran leaked her home address and other personal information to the Internet, sharing it on popular forums for current or former snipers:


The practice of leaking personal information to the Internet to aid in the harassment of a political enemy is known as “doxing.”

Supporters of Kyle flooded Martin’s social media accounts with threats of violence, sexual assault, and murder, forcing the journalist to take action to protect her safety and that of her family:



Michael Vincent Trautman, the veteran who doxed Abby Martin

Martin revealed to MintPress that through multiple, credible reports, she was able to trace the leak of her personal information to posts made on several sniper and veteran Internet forums. The author of the posts was a man named Michael Vincent Trautman.

“The fact that he posted my address and phone number on a bunch of veterans and sniper forums was a clear incitement for violence and harm on me and my family,” Martin told MintPress.

According to his Facebook, Trautman was born in Pittsburgh, and currently lives in Pleasant Hill, Pennsylvania. ............(more)


Reversing the Tide: Cities and Countries Are Rebelling Against Water Privatization, and Winning

Reversing the Tide: Cities and Countries Are Rebelling Against Water Privatization, and Winning

Friday, 25 September 2015 00:00
By Tom Lawson, Occupy.com | News Analysis

Private companies have been working to make a profit from water since the 1600s, when the first water companies were established in England and Wales. The first wave of water privatization occurred in the 1800s, and by the mid- to late-19th century, privately owned water utilities were common in Europe, the United States and Latin America, and began to appear in Africa and Asia.

But the privatization flurry faded, and throughout much of the 20th century water was largely a publicly controlled resource. In the US, for example, just 30% of piped water systems were privately owned in 1924, dropping from 60% in 1850.

It wasn't until the late 1980s that the idea of private companies managing water re-emerged on a large scale. Under Margaret Thatcher, the UK government privatized all water companies in England and Wales in 1989 - making it the first country to do so. Coupled with the global emphasis on free market capitalism after the fall of communism, it began the second wave of water privatization that continues today.

Privatizing water was, and still is, encouraged by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which make public-to-private takeovers a condition of lending. As a result, the early 1990s saw a rush of cities and countries around the world signing over their nations' water resources to private companies.

It is argued by industry and investors that putting water in private hands translates into improvements in efficiency and service quality, and that services will be better managed. Privatizing also provides governments an opportunity to gain revenue by selling off water services, and for companies to generate profit. But with profit the main objective, the idea of water as a human right arguably becomes a secondary concern. ....................(more)


"unrepentant capitalist, quoter of Eminem lyrics, (and) embodiment of d****ebaggery"

Martin Shkreli Allegedly Offered Ex-Girlfriend $10K For Sex

A woman claiming to be Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli’s ex-girlfriend alleges that during Facebook conversations that took place a few years after they broke up, Martin Shkreli offered her money in exchange for sex.

The woman, who calls herself “Katie,” contacted Business Insider on Tuesday about the conversations and posted screenshots of the conversations on her blog (Warning: NSFW) the next morning.

The woman claims that during her Freshman year of college, she dated Martin Shkreli, calling him an “unrepentant capitalist, quoter of Eminem lyrics, (and) embodiment of d****ebaggery.” The woman alleges the relationship took place while Martin Shkreli worked as a junior analyst at Cramer Berkowitz. However, the relationship did not end well, and Shkreli and Katie split.

“(It) soon became obvious that Martin was a pathological liar, would pretend to cheat on me and brag about it to raise his value in my eyes, so I’d always feel like I was hanging on by a thread, could be replaced, would vie for his approval and forgiveness. Except it backfired, made me think he was pathetic, not desirable.”

According to Dead State, in 2004, Martin Shkreli began contacting her. Katie alleges that at first the messages were friendly, but then they became increasingly more and more inappropriate. In April 2008, she alleges that Martin Shkreli sent her a Facebook message saying, “95% of the time i get off i’m thinking about you.”


Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/2446753/martin-shkreli-allegedly-offered-ex-girlfriend-10k-for-sex/#c0bkfBI6S5Yj3hYL.99

Popemobile (cartoon)


The Black Drag Queens Who Fought Before Stonewall

from truthdig:

The Black Drag Queens Who Fought Before Stonewall

Posted on Sep 24, 2015
By Channing G. Joseph

When the police burst through the door that night, all the dancing suddenly stopped. The men—adorned in the finest silk and satin dresses—looked on in shock for a brief moment before scurrying to make their getaway.

Many “danced about in almost a nude condition,” The Washington Post reported, as they struggled to strip off their garments, their ribbons and their “long, wavy-haired wigs.” Others raced immediately to the back doors or leapt out of second-floor windows and onto the roofs of neighboring buildings.

A large man named William Dorsey Swann—the queen of the ball—was himself “arrayed in a gorgeous dress of cream-colored satin,” but unlike the others, he ran frantically toward the officers in a vain attempt to keep them from entering the two-story residence in northwest Washington, D.C., just half a mile from the White House.

The raid caused such a commotion that roughly 400 people arose from their beds, gathered outside to watch and even followed the police and suspects back to the station that night. In total, 13 men—all black—were arrested and “charged with being suspicious characters.” They were ordered to pay a bond or serve 30 days in jail, and their names were published in the local papers the next day for all the city to read.

It was April 12, 1888, long before the Stonewall uprising or the sexual revolution of the 1960s—by which time many gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people were already living openly and unashamedly in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and other cities. ....................(more)


We Can’t Address the EU Refugee Crisis Without Confronting Global Capitalism

from In These Times:

Slavoj Zizek: We Can’t Address the EU Refugee Crisis Without Confronting Global Capitalism
The refugees won’t all make it to Norway. Nor does the Norway they seek exist.


In her classic study On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross proposed the famous scheme of the five stages of how we react upon learning that we have a terminal illness: denial (one simply refuses to accept the fact: “This can’t be happening, not to me.”); anger (which explodes when we can no longer deny the fact: “How can this happen to me?”); bargaining (the hope we can somehow postpone or diminish the fact: “Just let me live to see my children graduate.”); depression (libidinal disinvestment: “I'm going to die, so why bother with anything?”); acceptance (“I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”). Later, Kübler-Ross applied these stages to any form of catastrophic personal loss (joblessness, death of a loved one, divorce, drug addiction), and also emphasized that they do not necessarily come in the same order, nor are all five stages experienced by all patients.

Is the reaction of the public opinion and authorities in Western Europe to the flow of refugees from Africa and Middle East also not a similar combination of disparate reactions? There was denial, now diminishing: “It’s not so serious, let’s just ignore it.” There is anger: “Refugees are a threat to our way of life, hiding among them Muslim fundamentalists, they should be stopped at any price!” There is bargaining: “OK, let’s establish quotas and support refugee camps in their own countries!” There is depression: “We are lost, Europe is turning into Europa-stan!” What is lacking is acceptance, which, in this case, would have meant a consistent all-European plan of how to deal with the refugees.

So what to do with hundreds of thousands of desperate people who wait in the north of Africa, escaping from war and hunger, trying to cross the sea and find refuge in Europe?

There are two main answers. Left liberals express their outrage at how Europe is allowing thousands to drown in Mediterranean. Their plea is that Europe should show solidarity by opening its doors widely. Anti-immigrant populists claim we should protect our way of life and let the Africans solve their own problems.

Which solution is better? To paraphrase Stalin, they are both worse. Those who advocate open borders are the greater hypocrites: Secretly, they know very well this will never happen, since it would trigger an instant populist revolt in Europe. They play the Beautiful Soul which feels superior to the corrupted world while secretly participating in it. ...............(more)


In San Francisco, even people with jobs are homeless

(MarketWatch) Having a full-time job and being homeless is not just a New York thing.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, home to some of the biggest and wealthiest companies in the world, there is a growing number of people who are gainfully employed but can’t afford rent as a decade-long tech boom inevitably gives rise to sprawling gentrification.

The San Francisco Chronicle profiled one such Bay Area resident who ferries Apple employees during the day but sleeps on an air mattress in his 1997 Dodge Caravan at night.

Scott Peebles works for Compass Transportation, a company that provides shuttle services for Apple, Zynga, eBay and Yahoo, He earns roughly $30 a hour but has not been able to find a place to live near the bus yard that is within his budget, according to the newspaper.

Even when he finds apartments in his range — between $850 and $1,200 month — they are snapped up too quickly. And that has forced people like Peebles to either commute up to four hours a day or sleep in their cars. .................(more)


What's the punishment for a massive fraud that could destroy your company? 60 million euros

BERLIN-- Martin Winterkorn, who stepped down as chief executive of Volkswagen AG Wednesday due to its widening emissions scandal, could receive compensation of up to EUR60 million ($66.9 million), depending on how the company calculates his severance.

Winterkorn stepped down days after VW VLKAY, -0.68% VOW3, -2.37% admitted to systematically manipulating emissions tests on its diesel-powered cars. Up to 11 million cars could have been affected by the scandal.

According to Volkswagen’s annual report, there are two sources of compensation for Winterkorn upon his departure, as well as perks such as the use of a company car, as long as he is collecting a pension. By the end of 2014, he had amassed a pension worth EUR28.6 million.

But the report also describes a severance payout rule that gives a departing member of the management board the equivalent of a maximum of two years of his total remuneration. ................(more)


Atlanta Streetcar Hit With Double-Whammy of Bad News This Week

GA: Atlanta Streetcar Hit With Double-Whammy of Bad News This Week


Sept. 23--It's a tough week for the Atlanta Streetcar. The transit system was hit with a double-whammy of bad news after a vandal hopped a city fence overnight Monday and spray-painted multiple cars, just as an internal audit revealed multiple deficiencies in the streetcar's management and safety operations.

The audit, which was conducted in July and released to the city council this week by Mayor Kasim Reed's office, found that neither the previous manager nor current director of streetcar services had read its system safety program plan. The manager, who has since left the project, also hadn't read the system's security and emergency preparedness plan.

What's more, the director of streetcar services "denied any active management responsibilities for the system, even though the auditors cited the passages describing the tasks and responsibilities directly from the relevant documentation," states the executive summary, prepared by Kensington Consulting. .....................(more)


Oh, David Cameron. The Internet loves you!





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