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Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2018, 02:50 PM
Number of posts: 19,729

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The Unfulfilled Promise of Fair Housing

Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of an integrated America was about creating a more equal society, but to many white homeowners, it was a threat.

By Abdallah Fayyad 31 Mar 2018

Editor’s Note: Read The Atlantic’s special coverage of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

“Kill him,” a white mob chanted as Martin Luther King Jr. marched across Marquette Park in the late summer of 1966. King had recently moved to Chicago, and on that August afternoon, he joined a Chicago Freedom Movement march to demand that realtors not discriminate against black residents seeking to live in white neighborhoods. But a group of white counter-protesters grew violent and started hurling rocks, bottles, and bricks at the demonstrators, eventually striking King in the head. “I’ve been in many demonstrations all across the South, but I can say that I have never seen—even in Mississippi and Alabama—mobs as hostile and as hate-filled as I’ve seen here in Chicago,” he said, shining light on a problem that white Northern liberals had ignored and let fester for far too long: de facto segregation.

Up until the civil-rights era, segregation was largely reinforced, if not promoted, by federal and local governments. In the 1930s, for example, the Federal Housing Administration incentivized developers to build suburbs for whites only, and the Public Works Administration built separate and unequal housing projects. After a series of Supreme Court cases deemed segregation unconstitutional in the 1940s and ‘50s, American neighborhoods continued to segregate without legal recognition, in a system known as “de facto.” And like de jure segregation—when the government legally engineered ghettos into existence—de facto segregation continues to exacerbate wealth and racial inequality today.



Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Mar 31, 2018, 05:24 PM (0 replies)

Voting Rights Advocates Just Won a Big Victory in Court

The ruling is a setback for conservative groups trying to purge voter rolls across the country.

Pema Levy Mar. 30, 2018

A conservative legal group’s crusade to purge voter lists across the country hit a setback Friday when a federal judge in Florida ruled that Broward County was already adequately maintaining its voter file. In doing so, the judge rebuffed the group’s efforts to force the heavily Democratic county to implement procedures that voting rights advocates say could have resulted in eligible voters being removed from the rolls.

The case is one of many filed by the American Civil Rights Union, which claims that numerous counties throughout the country are shirking their duty under federal law to remove ineligible voters. One of the leaders of the effort is J. Christian Adams, a former member of President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission. Adams, a conservative legal activist, claims that voter fraud exists in the United States on a large scale, particularly among non-citizens, though his research on the matter has proved dubious at best. (The overwhelming weight of the evidence suggests that voter fraud is extremely rare.) Adams is an ally of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and both have advocated for laws that force voters to show proof of citizenship in order to register.

In her decision Friday, Judge Beth Bloom rejected key arguments put forward by ACRU.



Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Mar 31, 2018, 05:12 PM (1 replies)

Teens started March for Our Lives, but all ages participated

A new survey of the Washington, DC, protest suggests that the demonstrations have reached much further than young people.

By German Lopez Mar 30, 2018

The March for Our Lives was launched by a bunch of bold teenagers — particularly survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg. But a survey of participants in the Washington, DC, protest suggests that these teens have attracted a much broader kind of crowd.

Dana R. Fisher, a University of Maryland professor who studies protest movements, found that the majority of participants at the march in Washington were 26 years old or older. Of the 308 people sampled, 40 were 19 or younger (13 percent) and 52 were 25 or younger (17 percent).

“The youth really sparked people’s interests,” Fisher told me. “I think what they’ve done is captured the imagination of the general population.”

Fisher’s survey, which she first detailed in the Washington Post, was conducted at the DC march — in which her team sampled every fifth person at designated areas, getting them to fill out a questionnaire on a tablet.

Fisher noted a few caveats: A lot of teens were concentrated in a single area near the stage, and the survey ended at 1 pm, potentially undercounting the number of teens and kids by a small amount. Many of the children also may have attended the event with parents, slightly inflating the true level of adult interest.


Attendees were often interested in more than gun violence



Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Mar 31, 2018, 05:08 PM (1 replies)

Florida school shooting survivors march on unfazed by personal attacks

In the week since the March for Our Lives student activists have rebuffed claims of a secret plan to repeal the second amendment

Lois Beckett in New York
Sat 31 Mar 2018

In the week since they organized a worldwide protest against gun violence, student survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, have faced personal attacks and accusations that they want to repeal the second amendment.
'Haunting' school shooter drills become the new normal in US schools
Read more

The organizers have stayed focused on their goal: making an impact on the 2018 elections. Less than 48 hours after the March for Our Lives ended, David Hogg, one of the most prominent Marjory Stoneman Douglas student activists, announced a plan to hold town halls across American on 7 April to hold members of Congress accountable for their positions on gun laws. By Friday, they had confirmed events in 30 districts, with a goal of 535, one for every member of Congress.

Gun rights advocates and Donald Trump were quick this week to accuse the student movement of wanting to repeal Americans’ constitutional right to own guns. Trump and the National Rifle Association seized on an op-ed written by the 97-year-old former supreme court justice John Paul Stevens, which argued that activists should organize to “get rid of the second amendment” entirely, thus depriving the NRA of “a propaganda weapon of immense power”.



Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Mar 31, 2018, 05:03 PM (2 replies)

Trump distracts America from the task of facing three existential threats

As Trump forces America’s attention span to shrink, we are unable to address the threats that could fundamentally endanger American national security

Michael H Fuchs Fri 30 Mar 2018

Donald Trump’s daily assaults on American democracy and the pillars of America’s role in the world are disastrous – and they are also distracting America from even bigger global challenges. At just the moment when the United States must be joining together with the rest of the world to confront three existential threats – climate change, challenges to democracy, and the rise of China – Americans are forced to spend every waking minute mitigating Trump’s damage.

In Trump’s America, it’s hard to keep up. The news and controversies come so quickly they eat into each other’s news cycles. Actions by the Trump administration that previously might have brought down a presidency (or at least merited a congressional inquiry) pass in a matter of hours as the next jaw-dropping scandal explodes.

As Trump forces America’s attention span to shrink (was that even possible?), we are unable to address the three threats that could fundamentally endanger American national security.



Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Fri Mar 30, 2018, 09:13 PM (1 replies)

Appeals Court Overturns Google's Fair Use Victory For Java APIs (Techdirt)

Techdirt reports that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has resurrected Oracle's copyright claim against Google for its use of the Java APIs in Android. "Honestly, the most concerning part of the whole thing is how much of a mess CAFC has made of the whole process. The court ruled correctly originally that APIs are not subject to copyright. CAFC threw that out and ordered the court to have a jury determine the fair use question. The jury found it to be fair use, and even though CAFC had ordered the issue be heard by a jury, it now says 'meh, we disagree with the jury.' That's... bizarre."


[Posting link to LWN summary because of the insight in the comments there. Follow link for original report at Techdirt.]

[In the past, the Supreme Court has chastised the Fed. Circuit court, which never saw a software patent it didn't like, for overreach. That might not continue to save us. This little issue could have an effect on every programmable or programmed device we use.]
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Fri Mar 30, 2018, 08:10 PM (3 replies)

EPA accused of urging staff to downplay climate change after memo leaks

Scientists say an internal Environmental Protection Agency document encourages the use of misleading statements about scientific certainty

Oliver Milman in New York

Thu 29 Mar 2018 13.03 EDT
First published on Thu 29 Mar 2018 12.22 EDT

Scientists have accused the US Environmental Protection Agency of distributing misleading statements about climate change, following the leaking of an internal email advising agency staff to downplay the certainty of the science.

The email, sent to EPA communications staff by Joel Scheraga, senior climate adaptation adviser to the agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, acknowledges that communities face “challenges” in dealing with the consequences of climate change.

However, the email, obtained by HuffPost, also sets out ambiguous talking points favoured by Pruitt, such as: “Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.”

The email adds that “while there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it”.



Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Thu Mar 29, 2018, 04:53 PM (3 replies)

Desperate mom seeks refuge in Manhattan church to avoid deportation

BY Edgar Sandoval
Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

An immigrant mother of two is hoping the separation of church and state keeps immigration agents from tearing her away from her two little ones.

Aura Hernandez, a 37-year-old from Guatemala, watched her 15-month-old daughter take a few bouncy steps in front of an altar at Fourth Universalist Society Church at W. 76th St. and Central Park West Wednesday afternoon and picked her in her arms.

The toddler smiled, but her mom was unable to smile back. Hernandez said the little girl and her 10-year-old son Daniel is the reason she ran into this non-denominational church about a month ago for fear an order of deportation may separate her from them.

Both children were born in the U.S. and are American citizens, she said.

“That is my worst nightmare, to be separated from them,” Hernandez said softly. “They are born here. They have rights. I came here looking for sanctuary when I reached the end of the rope,” she said softly.



Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Wed Mar 28, 2018, 10:37 PM (0 replies)

Life for Residents Near Hog Farms Just Got Much, Much Worse

It just became much easier for large livestock operations to pollute near people’s homes.

Tom Philpott Mar. 28, 2018

In the midst of last week’s, um, stormy news cycle, the meat industry quietly scored a pair of legislative coups, both of which bolster corporate power to impose the downsides of factory-scale animal farming on communities.

One victory will affect people who live near these large operations. In North Carolina alone, 160,000 people reside within a half mile of vast open cesspools full of manure from thousands of confined hogs. If you lived in such conditions, you’d probably want to know what pollutants you and your family were breathing from the foul-smelling air wafting from these operations.

Folded into the omnibus spending bill signed by President Donald Trump last week is a rider that will prevent such knowledge from reaching public view. It’s based on a bill called the “Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act” (get it? FARM), which proposed to free most livestock operations from having to report the air-borne toxins emitted from the manure they accumulate. These gases, which include ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, can trigger ill health effects in neighboring communities, including eye irritation, chronic lung disease, and olfactory neuron loss. The pork, beef, and chicken trade groups all hotly supported the measure, which is now the law of the land.



Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Wed Mar 28, 2018, 09:15 PM (5 replies)

Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you

The harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine. So I braced myself and had a look

By Dylan Curran Wed 28 Mar 2018

Want to freak yourself out? I’m going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.

Google knows where you’ve been


Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted


Google knows all the apps you use


Google has all of your YouTube history


The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents

Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I’ve requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.

Manage to gain access to someone’s Google account? Perfect, you have a diary of everything that person has done

This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos you’ve taken on your phone, the businesses you’ve bought from, the products you’ve bought through Google …

They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books you’ve purchased, the Google groups you’re in, the websites you’ve created, the phones you’ve owned, the pages you’ve shared, how many steps you walk in a day …



[The article continues with similar sub-headings for Facebook. Each shows a link by which you can check or download your own data. These corporate tracking systems are not your friend.]
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Wed Mar 28, 2018, 03:03 PM (34 replies)
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