Friday, August 19, 2016

meanwhile, out in the rural precincts, nottinghams stay wilding - especially on peasant women!!!

NYTimes |  On Wednesday, the Vera Institute of Justice and a program called the Safety and Justice Challenge released a report that found that the number of women in local jails in the United States was almost 14 times what it was in the 1970s, a far higher growth rate than for men, although there remain far fewer women than men in jails and prisons.

The study found that the number of women held in the nation’s 3,200 municipal and county jails for misdemeanor crimes or who are awaiting trial or sentencing had increased significantly — to about 110,000 in 2014 from fewer than 8,000 in 1970.

(Over all, the nation’s jail population increased to 745,000 in 2014 from 157,000 in 1970.)
Much of the increase in the number of jailed women occurred in counties with fewer than 250,000 people, according to the study, places where just 1,700 women had been incarcerated in 1970. By 2014, however, that number had surged to 51,600, the report said.

And even as crime rates declined nationally, the trend toward jailing women in rural counties continued: Incarceration rates for women in sparsely populated counties rose to 140 per 100,000 in 2014 from 79 per 100,000 in 2000, the study found. During the same period, incarceration rates for women in the nation’s largest counties decreased to 71 per 100,000 from 76 per 100,000.

“Once a rarity, women are now held in jails in nearly every county — a stark contrast to 1970, when almost three-quarters of counties held not a single woman in jail,” the report said.

The counties with the highest rates of jailed women are nearly all rural and include Nevada County, Calif.; Floyd County, Ga.; and St. Charles Parish, La. Each has a population of fewer than 100,000 people but a rate of incarceration for women of more than 280 per 100,000, according to the Vera Institute.

only a declining federal prison population makes this executive pittance feasible...,

WaPo |  “This is a huge deal. It is historic and groundbreaking,” said David Fathi, director of the ACLU National Prison Project. “For the last 35 years, the use of private prisons in this country has crept ever upward, and this is a startling and major reversal of that trend, and one that we hope will be followed by others.”

The Justice Department’s inspector general last week released a critical report concluding that privately operated facilities incurred more safety and security incidents than those run by the federal Bureau of Prisons. The private facilities, for example, had higher rates of assaults — both by inmates on other inmates and by inmates on staff — and had eight times as many contraband cellphones confiscated each year on average, according to the report.

Disturbances in the facilities, the report said, led in recent years to “extensive property damage, bodily injury, and the death of a Correctional Officer.” The report listed several examples of mayhem at private facilities, including a May 2012 riot at the Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi in which 20 people were injured and a correctional officer killed. That incident, according to the report, involved 250 inmates who were upset about low-quality food and medical care.

“The fact of the matter is that private prisons don’t compare favorably to Bureau of Prisons facilities in terms of safety or security or services, and now with the decline in the federal prison population, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to do something about that,” Yates said.

The problems at private facilities were hardly a secret, and Yates said Justice Department and Bureau of Prisons officials had been talking for months about discontinuing their use. Mother Jones recently published a 35,000-word exposé detailing a reporter’s undercover work as a private prison guard in Louisiana — a piece that found serious deficiencies. The Nation magazine wrote earlier this year about deaths under questionable circumstances in privately operated facilities.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

inbred, genetically-defective, racist atavisms...?

unz |  Middle Eastern, North African, and Pakistani populations are even more extreme. You can see it in the figure above. Across short runs of homozogosity the results converge onto what you’d expect, roughly. But Middle Eastern populations are a huge anomaly at long runs. That’s because of this:
From 20–50% of all marriages in the GME are consanguineous (as compared with 0.2% in the Americas and Western Europe)1, 2, 3, with the majority between first cousins. This roughly 100-fold higher rate of consanguinity has correlated with roughly a doubling of the rate of recessive Mendelian disease19, 20. European, African, and East Asian 1000 Genomes Project populations all had medians for the estimated inbreeding coefficient (F) of ~0.005, whereas GME F values ranged from 0.059 to 0.098, with high variance within each population (Fig. 2c). Thus, measured F values were approximately 10- to 20-fold higher in GME populations, reflecting the shared genomic blocks common to all human populations. F values were dominated by structure from the immediate family rather than historical or population-wide data trends (Supplementary Fig. 8). Examination of the larger set of 1,794 exomes that included many parent–child trios also showed an overwhelming influence of structure from the immediate family, with offspring from first-cousin marriages displaying higher F values than those from non-consanguineous marriages (Fig. 2d).
For me this was the most interesting, and sad, result:
Despite millennia of elevated rates of consanguinity in the GME, we detected no evidence for purging of recessive alleles.Instead, we detected large, rare homozygous blocks, distinct from the small homozygous blocks found in other populations, supporting the occurrence of recent consanguineous matings and allowing the identification of genes harboring putatively high-impact homozygous variants in healthy humans from this population. Applying the GME Variome to future sequencing projects for subjects originating from the GME could aid in the identification of causative genes with recessive variants across all classes of disease. The GME Variome is a publicly accessible resource that will facilitate a broad range of genomic studies in the GME and globally.
The theory is simple. If you have inbreeding, you bring together deleterious recessive alleles, and so they get exposed to selection. In this way you can purge the segregating genetic load. It works with plants. But humans, and complex animals in general, are not plants. More precisely the authors “compared the distributions of derived allele frequencies (DAFs) in GME and 1000 Genomes Project populations.” If the load was being purged the frequency of deleterious alleles should be lower in the inbreeding populations. It wasn’t.
Middle Easterners should stop marrying cousins to reduce the disease load.

NYTimes Whitewashes U.S. Imperialism - Contemplates Ethnic Cleansing

ICH |  The entirety of the August 14 print edition of the New York Times Magazine is dedicated to a series titled “Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart,” by Scott Anderson. The series is 60 pages long and includes detailed sketches of the lives of six people from various parts of the Middle East dating back to the years before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, through the Arab Spring, the rise of ISIS in 2014-15, and the migratory outpouring from the war-torn region.

The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jake Silverstein, notes in a foreword to the series:

“This is an issue unlike any we have previously published…the subject of this book is the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis. The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences—terror and uncertainty around the world—are familiar to us all.”

Silverstein concludes his editor’s note: “It is unprecedented for us to focus so much energy and attention on a single story and to ask our readers to do the same. We would not do so were we not convinced that this is one of the most clear-eyed, powerful and human explanations of what has gone wrong in this region that you will ever read.”

The publication of “Fractured Lands” has an objective significance. The presentation, the content and the tone of the series express the American ruling class’ sense that it faces a catastrophe of historically unprecedented proportions in the Middle East. When Anderson asks in his preface: “Why did it turn out that way?” he is asking on behalf of a ruling class that is dazed by the catastrophic outcome of its own reckless and shortsighted policies.

For the last 25 years, US imperialism has laid waste to a span of territory stretching several thousand miles from North Africa to Central Asia, leaving over 1 million dead. A new vocabulary of words like “shock and awe,” “extraordinary rendition,” “black site prison,” “disposition matrix” and “Terror Tuesday” has emerged as the language of the US wars. A significant portion of the region’s 200 million people has been left homeless or have fled for safe haven abroad. Next January, Barack Obama will leave office as the first president in US history to serve his entire two terms while the country was at war.

“Fractured Lands” is an apologia for the record of American imperialism. Its author has served as a war correspondent for 33 years and has worked for the New York Times for the last 17. He is a prolific, educated writer and recently published a historical book on the post-World War One imperialist carve-up of the Middle East. Whatever Anderson’s intentions, “Fractured Lands” is a “human interest” story that serves to justify “human rights imperialism” and pave the way for new wars.

“Fractured Lands” makes the argument that the nation-state system established in the aftermath of the First World War failed to conform sufficiently to the various tribal, ethnic and religious divisions in the region. Anderson concludes that the collapse of the bourgeois nationalist governments in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Libya proves the necessity for racial and ethnic groups to fill the political vacuum and fight among themselves to establish fiefdoms and zones of tribal influence. “Fractured Lands” acknowledges that this may involve ethnic cleansing. The author concludes by contemplating whether pogroms and genocide may be necessary to establish order in the region.

rise of ISIS WAS a willful Clintonian/Obamamandian imperative...,

ICH |  No one paying attention with even one eye and half an ear can be ignorant of the fact that when it comes to this year’s election the MSM are lying shills for Hillary. But now it seems they’re all suffering from amnesia too.

The latest “OMG, Trump said that!” moment is The Donald’s claim that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are, correspondingly, the “founder” and “cofounder” of ISIS. True to form, the media reaction has been to shriek in outrage that he would cast aspersions on such august personages.

As of this writing, not one American media source of which this writer is aware has brought up in relation to Trump’s claims the August 2012 report (declassified and released in 2015 under a FOIA request from Judicial Watch) from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) stating that “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.” The “supporting powers” are identified as “western countries” (no doubt including and led by the United States), “the Gulf States” (presumably including and led by Saudi Arabia), and “Turkey” (just Turkey).

In August 2012 the Secretary of State at the time was one Hillary Rodham Clinton. The President was and still is one Barack Hussein Obama.

The DIA report said, in essence, that if we (the U.S. and our local cronies) keep aiding al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other such sterling democrats, something really nasty would arise in eastern Syria. Several months later, it did, when ISIS declared itself a state straddling the Syria-Iraq border.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Tiny but Very Articulate Cog in America's Vast Criminal Injustice System

tomdispatch |  One day recently, I was getting ready to hit the Oakland streets in search of a witness to a murder when I found in my email Justice Sonia Sotomayor'sdissent in the Supreme Court Case of Utah v. Strieff.  It had been forwarded to me by a psychologist with whom I once worked on a death penalty case.

Anyone lulled into thinking the new coalition of liberals and conservatives who hope to reform the criminal justice system will actually get somewhere should read Strieff. The facts are the following: a Salt Lake City cop was watching a home rumored to house methamphetamine dealers. When Edward Joseph Strieff left the house, the cop stopped him, questioned him, and checked his record. When the cop found a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket, he searched Strieff, found meth in his pockets, and arrested him for possession of drugs.  In Strieff and other cases leading up to it, the Supreme Court has now decreed that evidence gathered in an illegal search isn’t "the fruit of the poisoned tree" as Justice Felix Frankfurter put it in 1939, and so no longer must be suppressed. Even though gathered illegally, evidence can be used at trial against a defendant.

In short, stop-and-frisk policing and racial profiling, key targets of the new civil rights movement, just got a stamp of approval from the highest court in the land.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan also dissented. But it was Sotomayor who sounded the alarm in an opinion evoking nothing less than James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and adding quotations from W.E.B. Du Bois, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Michelle Alexander for good measure.

She wrote:
"The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: this case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic war­rants -- even if you are doing nothing wrong. If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arrest­ing you on the warrant. Because the Fourth Amendment should prohibit, not permit, such misconduct, I dissent."
And she concluded:
"This case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be catalogued.

“We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are 'isolated.' They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere."
Sotomayor's dissent describes daily existence for my defendants. Too poor to buy car insurance, fix broken tail lights, pay parking tickets, or get green cards, they are always on high alert for the police. (Alice Goffman's brilliant study, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, describes just how it works in one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods). My defendants have been sentenced to life in a war zone even before they find themselves charged in court. They have been sentenced to a life without parole or sometimes to death, caught as they are in a crossfire between cops and warring neighborhood gangstas.

A warrant for, say, unpaid parking tickets discovered in a Strieff-approved stop gets you a search of yourself and your car by police and maybe a bust for weed, the intoxicant of choice for many of the poor. If you object or run or the arresting officer is having a bad day, it may get you dead. (Refusing to pay protection money to your neighborhood punks or standing on the wrong corner at the wrong time may do the same.)

Once you're arrested, if you say you want a lawyer, you get a public defender with so many cases she or he may not even be able to meet you or read the complaint against you before you appear in court. You may serve weeks or months in jail, even if you're innocent, before your case is heard, and years before you are tried.

stand down in bloody kansas...,

kcur |  A standoff in Kansas City, Kansas, ended Tuesday afternoon when law enforcement officers at the scene decided the risk of injury to bystanders outweighed serving an arrest warrant.

The standoff began around 8:20 a.m. with a man at 5701 Parallel Parkway refusing to come out of a house.

KCK Police Chief Terry Zeigler tweeted shortly before noon that his officers had come to the assistance of U.S. Marshals trying to serve a warrant to the man, who had failed to register as a sex offender.

Had a warrant for his arrest. When Marshal Service went to get him, he threatened them. We were asked for help.

— Terry Zeigler (@KCKPDChief) August 16, 2016 The man was later identified as convicted sex offender and gospel singer Greg Andrews, whose yard is full of homemade signs accusing Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman of corruption.

Andrews’ wife and two of his sons were home at the time. Speaking through a bullhorn, Andrews and his wife Renee repeatedly stated their willingness to die if police didn’t leave. As the standoff dragged into the afternoon, a crowd gathered across Parallel Parkway.

Around 2 p.m., police commanders determined the best course of action would be to stand down.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

the historic reversal of populations...,

ipsnews |  Today the global ratio for the world’s 7.4 billion people has been halved to about three children per elderly person. While Africa’s population continues to have the highest ratio with nearly 12 children per elderly person, the ratios for Asia and Latin America are close to the current world average. In contrast, the population of Europe, which just recently experienced the Historical Reversal, has slightly less than one child per elderly person.

By 2075 the world’s projected population of 10.7 billion is expected to pass through the Historical Reversal with elderly persons becoming increasingly more numerous than children (Figure 1). The only major region that will not experience the Historical Reversal during the 21st century is Africa, which is projected to have 1.5 children per elderly person in 2100 with some countries, such as Niger, Nigeria and Somalia, having more than twice as many children as elderly. At that time, all the other major regions of the world are expected to have about twice as many elderly persons as children.

in the u.s. there are roughly 3 million unintended pregnancies...,

engenderhealth |  The unintended pregnancy rate in the United States is significantly higher than in many other developed countries. Currently, about half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the United States each year are unintended. Unintended pregnancies among adolescents are particularly high in Texas. Today, Texas teens are less likely than their national peers to use condoms, oral contraceptives, or any other method of contraception during sexual intercourse. Each year, more than 76,000 Texas girls between the ages of 15 and 19 become pregnant, giving the state the third highest teenage pregnancy rate in the United States. Despite these growing numbers, many public schools in Texas teach an abstinence-only curriculum, leaving a large number of teens without the sexual and reproductive health information they desperately need.

EngenderHealth is working to change this. In Travis County, where the teen pregnancy rate exceeds that of the state’s, we work directly with young people between the ages of 14 and 16 who are at a high risk of becoming teen parents. And in both Austin and Dallas, we are partnering with Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas to educate young people about how traditional gender norms and intimate partner violence can influence their risk of pregnancy. Our work in Texas equips teens with the tools they need to make smart decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and to determine their own futures.

Monday, August 15, 2016

alan dershowitz not a fan of black lives matter...,

RealClearPolitics | "Black Lives Matter is endangering the fairness of our legal system. Because they're rooting for outcomes based on race. Started a long time ago. Started with the O.J. Simpson case."

BostonGlobe |  To support an organization or movement that promotes anti-Semitism because it also supports good causes is the beginning of the road to accepting racism. Many racist groups have also promoted causes that deserve support. The Black Panthers had breakfast programs for inner-city children, while advocating violence against whites. And the Ku Klux Klan organized summer camps for working-class families, while advocating violence against blacks.

There must be zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, regardless of the race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation of the bigots who promote, practice or are complicit with it. Being on the right side of one racial issue does not give one a license to be on the wrong side of the oldest bigotry.

To give Black Lives Matter a pass on its anti-Jewish bigotry would be to engage in racism. Black anti-Semitism is as inexcusable as white anti-Semitism or white racism. There can be no double standard when it comes to bigotry.

I write this column both in sorrow and in anger. In sorrow because I support the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement — I have long been involved in efforts to expose and prevent police abuses — and worry that this obnoxious and divisionary platform plank may destroy its credibility with regard to police abuse in America by promoting deliberate lies about Israel. It is also alienating Jewish and other supporters who could help them achieve their goals here at home — as many such individuals have historically done in actively supporting all aspects of the civil rights movement.

relieved to know that sharif clarke and gov. walker will collaborate on fixing the ghetto...,

WSJ  |  Residents in Sherman Park and other African-Americans in Milwaukee blamed the city’s extremely segregated communities for the eruption of tensions over the weekend, said their neighborhoods are seeing social services being cut and residents moving away. Sherman Park and areas immediately surrounding it have few commercial businesses except for liquor stores and fast food restaurants, and residents here say they have little by way of opportunity. Foreclosed homes dot the street, and almost every other car is badly dented.

The Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, described Milwaukee earlier this year as “the most segregated metro area in the United States,” with 260 of its 296 census tracts having one demographic group account for 60% of the population. Nearly a fifth of the tax base is in 3% of the city’s land area. While a new office tower is rising downtown here, slated to be the city’s second tallest, homes here in Sherman Park are crumbling.

“The only thing we can hope for after something as shocking as this is that there will be a new sense of togetherness and a realization that we must do better,” said Mr. Southerland. “We have to move forward.”

Sunday, August 14, 2016

yes George, your species IS a planet-scraping biological weapon, period.

Guardian |  A few months ago, a well-publicised paper claimed that the great beasts of the Americas – mammoths and mastodons, giant ground sloths, lions and sabretooths, eight-foot beavers, a bird with a 26-foot wingspan – could not have been exterminated by humans, because the fossil evidence for their extinction marginally pre-dates the evidence for human arrival.

I have never seen a paper demolished as elegantly and decisively as this was at last week's conference. The archaeologist Todd Surovell demonstrated that the mismatch is just what you would expect if humans were responsible. Mass destruction is easy to detect in the fossil record: in one layer bones are everywhere, in the next they are nowhere. But people living at low densities with basic technologies leave almost no traces. With the human growth rates and kill rates you'd expect in the first pulse of settlement (about 14,000 years ago), the great beasts would have lasted only 1,000 years. His work suggests that the most reliable indicator of human arrival in the fossil record is a wave of large mammal extinctions.

These species were not just ornaments of the natural world. The new work presented at the conference suggests that they shaped the rest of the ecosystem. In Britain during the last interglacial period, elephants, rhinos and other great beasts maintained a mosaic of habitats: a mixture of closed canopy forest, open forest, glade and sward. In Australia, the sudden flush of vegetation that followed the loss of large herbivores caused stacks of leaf litter to build up, which became the rainforests' pyre: fires (natural or manmade) soon transformed these lush places into dry forest and scrub.

In the Amazon and other regions, large herbivores moved nutrients from rich soils to poor ones, radically altering plant growth. One controversial paper suggests that the eradication of the monsters of the Americas caused such a sharp loss of atmospheric methane (generated in their guts) that it could have triggered the short ice age which began about 12,800 years ago, called the Younger Dryas.

And still we have not stopped. Poaching has reduced the population of African forest elephants by 60% since 2000. The range of the Asian elephant – which once lived from Turkey to the coast of China – has contracted by 97%; the ranges of the Asian rhinos by over 99%. Elephants distribute the seeds of hundreds of rainforest tree species; without them these trees are functionally extinct.
Is this all we are? A diminutive monster that can leave no door closed, no hiding place intact, that is now doing to the great beasts of the sea what we did so long ago to the great beasts of the land? Or can we stop? Can we use our ingenuity, which for two million years has turned so inventively to destruction, to defy our evolutionary history?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

the essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer...,

FP |  If there is any singular feature that characterizes how many Americans understand our national relation to violence, it is our ingenuity at looking the other way, at siloing problems away from one another, and at disavowing, sublimating, or repackaging our complicity in the most easily observable patterns.

Signs of supposed progress in expressions of American violence often disguise profound continuities. For example: The era of highly visible public lynchings, which is estimated to have claimed some 5,000 lives, has passed. Yet since then we have moved on to an institutionalized death penalty regime, wherein states that previously had the highest numbers of lynchings now have the greatest numbers of black people on death row. Both per capita and in raw numbers, America’s prisons warehouse more human beings than any other country on the planet, and its police demonstrate a clear pattern of racial bias in killing their fellow citizens at a rate stratospherically higher than that of any of its supposed peer nations. U.S. soldiers are deployed in some 135 countries, and the number of troops actually engaged in combat is almost certainly much higher than authorities are willing to admit. Meanwhile, America is far and away the world’s largest exporter of weapons, with the global arms industry’s largest and most profitable players based in the United States and reaping booming markets in conflict zones while being heavily subsidized by federal and state tax dollars.

Everyday Americans may not be “inherently more prone to violence,” but our way of life is certainly structured around violence and around selectively empowering, quarantining, directing, and monetizing it at home and abroad. The majority of Americans apparently find no cognitive dissonance in this arrangement, if we even perceive it at all. Instead, we express bafflement and outrage that we are not something other than what we are and what we have always been. Plumbing what lurks within the “essential American soul,” a cynic might suggest, is a self-indulgent exercise, a red herring. The better question might be whether we even have one in the first place.

like tennessee ernie say a poor man's made outta muscle and blood...,

marketwatch |  Poor economies impact countries in a number of detrimental ways including higher rates of poverty, unemployment and chronic disease.

Now, a new study shows the bad economy is to blame for another unfortunate trend: the rise of #swoleness.

Skim through any fitness enthusiast’s Instagram, and you’ll find allusions to being “swole” — or in Herculean shape. Since the 2008 economic crisis, more men have taken to social media to post images of their fit bodies, according to the Journal of Gender Studies report. The trend, which experts have dubbed “spornosexuality,” reflects men attempting to seek validation through their bodies, instead of more conventional means, such as their work.

“Austerity has eroded young men’s traditional means of value-creation so they have become increasingly reliant on their bodies as a means of feeling valuable in society,” said study author Jamie Hakim, a professor at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. “In theoretical terms, so-called ‘spornosexuality’ is an embodied response to material changes brought about by neoliberal austerity.”

critics of gaye clark are nutless, gutless insects...,

WaPo |  When Gaye Clark prayed to God to send her daughter Anna a “godly, kind” husband, she got exactly what she asked for.

Glenn was a devout Christian who volunteered at church, mentoring kids in an after-school program. By day, he worked as an applications developer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and he was well on his way to becoming “a great dad and a good provider,” Clark said.

Glenn was a gentleman, too. Clark noticed that he’d hold doors open for Anna, even at the grocery store. Her daughter seemed happy, she said.

But there was one thing the 53-year-old mother was hung up on: Glenn was a black man with dreadlocks.
Clark, a white freelance writer and cardiac care nurse from Georgia, confessed in a blog post Tuesday on the website the Gospel Coalition, or TGC, that she initially struggled with the idea of her daughter marrying an African American man. In it, she explained how she ultimately came to embrace her daughter’s decision, and offered some advice for parents like her to consider if they, too, are hesitant about a child’s interracial marriage.

The post, titled “When God Sends Your White Daughter a Black Husband,” has since been taken down from the website, but not before receiving a hail of criticism from readers online, many of whom called it tone-deaf, un-Christian and downright racist.

the establishment's jowly young tool du jour cosby's those he left behind...,

NYTimes |  In late July, The American Conservative ran an interview with J. D. Vance that drew so much traffic it briefly crippled the central nervous system of the magazine’s website. The interviewer’s last line implored readers to have a look at Mr. Vance’s publishing debut, “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.” Ever since, his book has hovered at high altitude on Amazon, seldom dipping below No. 10.

After reading “Hillbilly Elegy,” you can easily understand why. This is a historically peculiar election cycle, boisterously disrupted by outsiders, one of whom found the perfect host body in the Republican Party and became its presidential nominee. An investigation of voter estrangement has never felt more urgent, and we’re certainly not getting one from the lacquered chatterers on the boob tube.

Now, along comes Mr. Vance, offering a compassionate, discerning sociological analysis of the white underclass that has helped drive the politics of rebellion, particularly the ascent of Donald J. Trump. Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference guide for an uncivilized election, and he’s done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans.

Imagine that.

On the checklist of modern privilege, Mr. Vance, 31, has the top four in the bag: He is white, male, straight and Protestant.

a racist tool opines on black and blue tools of the establishment...,

unz |  Among the many factors that contribute to death is one that is scarcely noticed: a deadly self-conception. The classic example is the person who defines himself as a fearsome, brave warrior anxious to risk everything—including almost certain death—for personal glory. The pursuit of pleasure can also be self-destructive. For example, in the 1970s and 80’s thousands of young gay males came to believe that being authentically gay entailed engaging in promiscuous unprotected anal sex.

Unfortunately, a similar death-inviting self-image currently flourishes among countless young, underclass black males. Central is resisting police authority, energetically fighting back, or at least fleeing if arrested regardless of circumstances. Eric Garner was the classic example. Surely he must have realized the futility of escape since he was surrounded by multiple police officers and even if he did manage to momentarily break free, he would have been quickly apprehended (and the resisting arrest effort would compound his punishment). Did Michael Brown reasonably expect that wrestling with Officer Wilson and shooting him with the policeman’s own gun was a prudent strategy to escape the relatively minor charges of robbery and obstructing traffic? What is the benefit of taunting and mocking police officers when they try to arrest you? In other words, rational calculations in such police encounters cannot justify the risky misbehavior. Rather, a cultural ethos exists, perhaps comparable to WW II Japanese banzai charges where certain death in battle outshined cowardly surrender.

This “resistance” mentality might even be viewed as an anti-law enforcement “lifestyle.” It is reflected in today’s “ghetto look” where youngsters purposely imitate those who’ve been arrested–beltless trousers, untied shoes, and a scowling angry demeanor. Popular tee-shirts now declare “Snitches Get Stiches.” The anti-cop message is ubiquitous in rap and hip-hop music. Twenty-five years ago the group N.W. A. released what became a classic—“Fuck tha Police” and it has created a multi-million dollar musical genre ever sensitive to the latest incident of alleged police brutality. Following Ferguson anti-police songs were released by G-Unit, Public Enemy, the Game among several others. Indeed, some blacks in Ferguson now celebrate Michael Brown as a hero. And, of course, there’s the anti-cop Black Lives Matter—fry them like bacon–Movement ever anxious to portray those killed by resisting arrest saint-like martyrs.

Friday, August 12, 2016

racism, fear, and divide and conquer crushed American third party politics...,

WaPo |  In other countries, workers organizing to defend their rights not only formed unions to protect them on the job, but also labor or socialist political parties to protect them as a class — the working class. Building off surges of worker protest, these parties won pro-labor reforms, either by winning office or posing enough of a political threat to get ruling parties to act. More broadly, they expanded notions of democratic citizenship to include many of the social welfare benefits like health care and old age security that are now taken for granted. Overall, this wove workers’ rights more tightly into the fabric of democracy, making it harder to unravel them.
This didn’t happen in the United States. More precisely, it didn’t happen in the same way. American workers fought for labor rights for decades, in some cases tying their workplace struggles to broader political movements and parties. Despite the many barriers to third parties in the U.S., these parties managed to capture a small but significant part of the vote in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, even holding some state-level offices.

But that changed in the 1930s. Although he came into office as a budget-cutting deficit hawk, President Franklin Roosevelt’s advisors convinced him that responding to growing worker and farmer protest with reforms could bring these groups into the Democratic Party coalition. FDR’s rhetorical appeals to the “forgotten man” and policy offerings like the National Labor Relations Act absorbed key parts of these protest groups while dividing and excluding others. On the one hand, this consolidated the liberal coalition that characterizes the Democratic Party to this day. On the other, it decisively undermined any left alternative to the Democrats.

Again, looking at Canada is instructive. Despite fewer barriers to third parties there, they had limited success until the 1930s. At that point, both the mainstream parties, the Liberals and Conservatives, responded to worker and farmer protests not with reforms, but with repression. This drove the excluded groups to form an independent party, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, which took root and lives on today as the New Democratic Party.

U.S. unions seemed to get the better deal at the time, but the New Deal coalition was ultimately a “barren marriage. As a junior partner within the Democratic Party, labor focused on its “inside game” of influencing sympathetic allies to win reforms. Whatever bargains it could win thus appeared not as broad gains for workers, but as payoffs to a narrow Democrat “special interest.” By contrast, Canadian labor’s electoral threat combined with worker mobilization created a bargaining process to enforce industrial peace, one that even labor’s opponents understood the value of maintaining. This ensured a more legitimate Canadian labor law regime that strengthened over time.

Kimberly Phillips-Fein: How employers broke unions by creating a culture of fear

inside the DEBATE over probing the Clinton Foundation?!?!?!?!

CNN |  Officials from the FBI and Department of Justice met several months ago to discuss opening a public corruption case into the Clinton Foundation, according to a US official.

At the time, three field offices were in agreement an investigation should be launched after the FBI received notification from a bank of suspicious activity from a foreigner who had donated to the Clinton Foundation, according to the official. 
FBI officials wanted to investigate whether there was a criminal conflict of interest with the State Department and the Clinton Foundation during Clinton's tenure. The Department of Justice had looked into allegations surrounding the foundation a year earlier after the release of the controversial book "Clinton Cash," but found them to be unsubstantiated and there was insufficient evidence to open a case. 
As a result, DOJ officials pushed back against opening a case during the meeting earlier this year. Some also expressed concern the request seemed more political than substantive, especially given the timing of it coinciding with the investigation into the private email server and Clinton's presidential campaign.
The FBI's investigation into Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his tie to a Clinton Foundation donor was also raised during the meeting. DOJ said that probe could continue but declined to open a case on the foundation.
Representatives from the Clinton Foundation, FBI and DOJ declined to comment.

the more the establishment freaks out over Trump...,

oftwominds |  With Trump ascendant, the serfs are selecting the noble in the castle on the hill. Outrageous! Unheard of!
You know the Establishment is freaking out when Establishment pundit mouthpieces like David Brooks and Francis Fukuyama are freaking out about Trump. David Brooks could not restrain his disdain for Trump on a recent Charlie Rose segment, in which he intoned (and I paraphrase) that Trump can't put eight words together without referring to himself, i.e. he is not just a narcissist, but he is (take this, Trump!) a fragile narcissist-- unlike people like Brooks, of course, who are solid, secure, wise, well-educated, erudite water-carriers for the status quo.
Policy heavy-hitter Fukuyama confesses the political system in the U.S. is broken but he can't understand why the citizenry has selected the "singularly inappropriate instrument" (his description of Trump in the pages of Foreign Affairs) of Donald Trump to express their disdain for their neofeudal lords.
Well, Mr, Fukuyama, let me explain it to you: the debt-serfs have selected Trump precisely because the neofeudal financial-political nobility you represent consider him a "singularly inappropriate instrument".
But, the pundits rage, he's a narcissist. He's fragile. (Now isn't that a classic middle-brow slam from the hopelessly middle-brow ("I only sound middle-brow due to my starring role in the mainstream media; actually I'm brilliant beyond words") Brooks.
Policy guru Fukuyama has a much better turn of phrase, of course: "narcissist" is way too common and middle-brow a critique at his level. Thus we get "singularly inappropriate instrument" (ooh, now there's a sharpened blade that slips easily between the ribs).
Dear Establishment pundits, flacks, hacks, sycophants, apparatchiks, toadies, lackeys, functionaries, leeches and apologists: the more you label Trump as "singularly inappropriate," the more attractive he becomes to the 81% who've been left behind by the financialized-globalized-neofeudal order that has so greatly enhanced your own wealth, influence and power.