Posts filed under ‘Repression’
The United States of America, circa 2013. Unbelievable:
Wilcox County Students Fight Segregated Prom
ROCHELLE, GA – They share the classroom, the football field, and the baseball diamond, but the school is still holding on to a vestige of this country’s darkest days of segregation.
“We’re embarrassed, it’s embarrassing,” exclaimed Stephanie Sinnot, Mareshia Rucker, Quanesha Wallace, and Keela Bloodworth.
The group has been friends since the 4th grade and they say they do everything together, except prom night.
“We are all friends,” said Stephanie. “That’s just kind of not right that we can’t go to prom together.”
Stephanie and Keela are white and Mareshia and Quanesha are black. They’re seniors at Wilcox County High School, a school that has never held an integrated prom during its existence.
“There’s a white prom and there’s an integrated prom,” said Keela.
The rule is strictly enforced, any race other than Caucasian wouldn’t dare to attend the white prom.
“They would probably have the police come out there and escort them off the premises,” said Keela.
Let’s hope the students win this.
My friend (I worked with him on Outfoxed), the intrepid Robert Greenwald, is out with a new documentary called: War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and The National Security State:
The corporate media tells us whistleblowers are troublemakers and/or attention-seekers who should be shunned, or worse — jailed or even executed.
Hardly. As a matter of fact, we need them:
In a Democracy, citizens are entitled to the freedom of information and the freedom of the press, but what happens when that democratic government turns its back on the truth and begins to punish those who stand up to falsehood, secrecy, and deception? In Robert Greenwald’s latest film for Brave New Foundation, we reveal the war targeted at the people who put the US constitution before everything. We reveal the War on Whistleblowers.
Here’s the trailer:
An Anaheim police officer will not face charges for the fatal shooting of an unarmed man that helped spark nights of protest over the summer, the District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon.
Officer Nick Bennallack was on a gang-enforcement patrol in the Anna Drive neighborhood on the afternoon of July 21 when he pulled up to a small group of men. Manuel Diaz, 25 years old and a convicted gang member, bolted.
The officers gave chase, down an alley and into the front yard of an apartment house. There, Bennallack fired two shots, one hitting Diaz in the back-right side of his head, the other hitting him in his right buttock, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.
The police association said shortly after the shooting that officers saw Diaz pull something from his waistband and turn. Diaz was found to be unarmed; investigators found a cell phone registered to Diaz, as well as the two ammunition cartridges from Bennallack’s gun and a drug pipe, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Bottom line? 25-year-old father Manuel Diaz was unarmed. Inconvenient fact: Diaz was Latino. He was shot in the back of the head and in the butt while he “bolted.”
The officer who shot him — Nick Bennallack? He “won’t face charges.”
If Diaz’s name was Nelson Rockefeller, you can bet your sweet bippy Bennallack would be sweating bullets somewhere tonight.
This would be Sarah Palin at the CPAC conference today.
Don’t forget, these are The Serious People in the Republican Party.
Listen to the crowd roar when she sucks on a straw.
Moral of the story? This is how “girls” get noticed by Republicans.
Big gulp? Aimed at Nanny Bloomberg? Maybe.
I find it chilling that doing something like this would even enter Joe Biden’s staff person’s mind:
A staffer for Vice President Joe Biden demanded that a reporter delete photos he’d taken at an event in Rockville, Md., Tuesday. The vice president’s office later apologized to University of Maryland J-school Dean Lucy Dalglish after she complained about the incident in a letter.
Jeremy Barr, a reporter with the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service, was seated in a non-press section for the event, at which the vice president announced an anti-domestic violence initiative. Biden staffer Dana Rosenzweig approached Barr after the event and ordered him to delete photos.
“She said, ‘I need to see your camera right now.’” Barr said. The staffer called Barr’s presence in the non-press area an “unfair advantage” over the other members of the media at the event.
The staffer then requested to watch as Barr deleted the photos from his camera to ensure his compliance, Barr said.
After deleting the photos from the camera, the staffer asked Barr to show her his iPhone to make sure no photos were saved. Barr complied.
“Rockville is not a third-world country where police-state style media censorship is expected,” Dalglish said in her letter. Biden press secretary Kendra Barkoff apologized to Dalglish and Barr in phone calls but wouldn’t speak on the record to Capital News Service’s Lucas High.
This is horrible:
Like millions of Mexicans, Carolina Martínez dreamed of coming to the United States to work. Her plan was to put in a few years in the fields, save up enough money to return to her hometown, and build a house there for her family. Her husband was already working on a farm outside of Albion, New York, so she knew there was money to be made, certainly more than the few dollars per day she typically made selling food on the street.
In 2004, at the age of 21, she took her 1-year-old child and traveled some 1,200 miles by bus to the U.S. border, where she handed off her son to a friend and found a coyote (smuggler) who would guide her and 10 others across for $2,000 each. It took a full week of hard and dangerous walking to get through the desert. She ran out of food and water, and at one point twisted her ankle, but she didn’t dare stop. “We passed people who were dead,” she recalls. But she made it out of the desert alive, reunited with her infant son—whom her friend had driven across the border—and eventually made her way to a small town outside of Rochester, New York, where she joined her husband. Martínez quickly found work packing potatoes and onions.
The work was hard. During planting and harvest seasons she might work 10 hours a day, six or seven days a week. But she had expected that. What she hadn’t expected was the near-constant sexual harassment on the job. The crew leader would, she says, “touch women in a sexual way … touch women on their asses.” When Martínez threatened to report him, he’d warn, “They’ll get rid of you. And if you do go to the boss, I’ll call Immigration.”
That’s what happened at one farm where Carolina Martínez worked. She says the manager, a Mexican immigrant himself, routinely approached women for sex. (He didn’t bother her, probably because she lived with her husband.) “He told [women] if they did not have sex with him, they were going to lose their jobs,” she says. Many women complied. Finally, one woman spoke up about the abuse to the farm owner. But, says Martínez, the owner didn’t believe her. In fact, he may not have understood her at all, because the woman spoke only Spanish and the owner, like most, spoke only English—while the supervisor spoke both. The handful of bilingual workers who could have translated were afraid to get involved. Not willing to lose his manager, the owner instead fired the woman who complained—which sent a strong message to the other women.
That “Republican makeover” isn’t going so well in Michigan.
My God they’re insane:
From abortion limitations to expanded pistol carrying rights, lawmakers have kicked off a new session with recycled issues and proposals that sparked some of the most contentious debates in last year’s Legislature, but failed to become law.
There are eight abortion-related bills and seven that ease handgun restrictions. Most aim to overcome or circumvent one or another of the few vetoes Gov. Rick Snyder issued last year.
Also in the hopper are several bills the governor was happy didn’t land on his desk in 2012. Among those is one that would outlaw prevailing wage requirements on public works projects.
Another would reduce the sales tax on motor vehicle and watercraft purchases, gradually cutting into state revenue.
I heard women referred to as girls, girls, girls over and over tonight on E! in the run-up to the Academy Awards. I’m talkin’ Giuliana Rancic, who’s 38, turning to Kimora Lee Simons, who’s 37, and calling her a girl.
The proper term for a mature female human being is woman. Rhe proper term for a mature kitten is cat, the proper term for a mature horse is horse, not pony, and the proper term for a grown dog is dog, not puppy.
Female human beings over the age of 18 aren’t
When do women in the United States get promoted from “girls” to “women?”
Do a Google image search of the word “boy” and you get this:
Do a Google image search of the word “girl” and you get this:
“Girls:” It’s one thing when men diss you. It’s another when you diss yourselves.
I just saw this ad on Fox News:
The “book that built America.” Really?
Anyone who knows anything about who “built America” knows the Pilgrims sailed to what is now the United States to escape religious persecution. Their goal was to establish a government free of religion. They’d had enough.
This video is taken from a YouTube site called (gag me) “Patriot Update Report.”
Who’s funding this site? Who’s trying to turn the United States into a religiously fundamentalist country…exactly the kind of place the Pilgrims fled?
Just minutes ago he voted against the Violence Against Women Act:
Just hours ahead of stepping in front of the cameras to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address; Senator Marco Rubio voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
The VAWA passed the Senate, despite Rubio’s no vote, by a 78-22 margin. All 22 of those who voted against the reauthorization of the bill were men and included not only Rubio but also Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The original Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994, but expired in 2011 as Congress’ partisan divide grew. The bill seeks to help victims of domestic violence, stalking, and other crimes. The reauthorization added new protections for LGBT and Native American victims.
So there we have it. The stupid party is trying to reach out to Latinos via supposed wonder boy Marco Rubio but the problem is, all they’re doing is putting lipstick on a pig.
(If you want to read Time’s cover article about Rubio, here it is.)
You can put lipstick on a pig, but he’s still a pig.
Here is a full list of the 22 people (all men, all Republicans) who voted against the bill.
Now I know why Barack Obama shot that gun. He wants to kill our right to due process:
Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
Last I knew, every American is entitled to and guaranteed a trial by a jury of his or her peers before he or she is sentenced to anything, much less death.
Now we have the “liberal” Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama’s Justice Department obliterating that for what will probably be forever.
Blows my mind.
This is how crazy they’re getting.
This would be Generations Radio host Kevin Swanson on his show this week:
And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.
Simultaneously sad and hilarious:
Two Arizona lawmakers are stirring Constitutional debate and threats of legal action after introducing bills that would require the state’s students to express love of country under God.
House Bill 2467, sponsored by Republican state Rep. Bob Thorpe, would require all public high school seniors to take an oath to “support and defend” the U.S. Constitution and proclaim, “so help me god.” A second proposal, House Bill 2284 sponsored by Republican state Rep. Steve Smith, would require all public 1-12 students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The oath, as proposed by Thorpe, reads:
I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.
I came across that at the same time I came across this:
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI seeking details of its surveillance policy — who it spies upon, and how, and under what circumstances. The FBI sent back two 50+ page memos in reply, each of them totally blacked out except for some information on the title page.
So much for the FOIA law and so much for Obama’s “most transparent” government ever.
The lock the Israeli lobby in the United States has on the discussion of Israel’s occupation of Palestine is truly astonishing. Check out what the New York Times — a newspaper which says it offers “the world’s finest journalism” — did today when it told the truth (oops!) about that:
Screenshot #1. Note the headline: “Palestinians Set Up Camp in Israeli-Occupied West Bank Territory:”
Uh oh. Israeli-occupied? That’s basically banned language around here because Israel doesn’t do things like that, or so “the worlds finest” journalists would have us believe. Look at how the headline reads now: “Palestinians Set Up Tents Where Israel Plans Homes:”
Remember this? (Look at how cavalier and arrogant that cop looks.)
Twenty-one students and alumni filed a federal lawsuit on February 22, 2012 against UC Davis over the University’s treatment of protesters during a Nov. 18, 2011 demonstration in which campus police were caught on video dousing seated protesters with pepper spray.
Bravo! What the campus cops did was outrageous.
The lawsuit charged that UC Davis administration officials set in motion a series of events that they should have known would result in constitutional violations against the demonstrators, and that they and the campus police department failed to properly train and supervise officers.
A settlement was announced on September 26, 2012. The University agreed to pay $1million, including $730,000 to the named plaintiffs and others who were arrested or pepper-sprayed on November 18. Additionally, the case has been expanded to a class action lawsuit, and a portion of the total award will be set aside to compensate individuals other than the named plaintiffs who were pepper-sprayed or wrongfully arrested on November 18, 2011.
On January 9, 2013 a federal judge approved the settlement.
God I hope the University doesn’t appeal, though they might just to set a “precedent.” $1 million isn’t all that punitive. They should shut up, walk away, and be happy they weren’t ordered to pay more.
Via MissRepresentation on YouTube. Get ready to gag or throw stuff at your computer, or both:
H/t to NancyB for alerting me to this “toy:”
The corporatocracy (this time as in the NRA and its buddies, the corporate media) win again:
On the day of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., we published a chart showing the Sisyphean nature of the national gun control discussion. In the immediate aftermath of a shooting, such as the one that took place in Aurora, Colo., mentions of the term “gun control” spike in the news media. In a matter of days, that discussion all but disappears.
This time was supposed to be different. “It is hard to believe this will not be a watershed moment when we start to talk about, deal with and even perhaps legislate on guns,” ABC News’s Z. Byron Wolf wrote. He was one among many in the media who believed the momentum for gun control legislation was strong enough to turn the tide on a familiar pattern.
Blame it on the fiscal cliff, blame it on Christmas, blame it on our ability to forget, but the national discussion about gun control has once again ebbed. Mentions of the term “gun control” on television, in newspapers, and in online media are down to pre-Sandy Hook levels, according to the Nexis database.
So, on to the next massacre.
Mo Farah, Olympic Gold Medalist, Detained by U.S. Customs Agents Because…He’s From Somalia so He Must be a Terrorist
Americans are a bunch of scared little people:
Mo Farah Held by US Customs on Suspicion of Being a Terrorist
Farah, who won a 5,000m and 10,000m double [gold metal] at London 2012, was detained for questioning after the US border force saw he was born in Somalia.
The 29 year-old came over to Britain with his English-born father as a child and is one of the most famous athletes in the world, but this did not stop judicious officials from grilling him at the border.
Farah moved to Portland [Oregon] last year to work with his coach Alberto Salazar at Nike’s HQ in the Pacific Northwest and was travelling back to spend Christmas with his wife and children.
And even presenting his two gold medals to the officials did not help his cause.
“I couldn’t believe it. Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through US Customs. This time I even got my medals out to show who I am, but they wouldn’t have it,” he told the Sun.
Farah told the newspaper that when he and his family tried to leave Canada and enter the US as residents they were told they were under investigation as a terrorist threat and would have to stay away for 90 days.
But Salazar intervened and called upon a friend at the FBI – a massive running fan – and he solved the issue.
I’m embarrassed for my country. “Homeland security” turns into homeland paranoia and racism. It’s out of control.
I guess I was wrong about the hopelessness of reaching a bipartisanship agreement on much of anything in Washington because alas, both parties came together today to royally screw the American people:
The Senate on Friday reauthorized for five years broad electronic eavesdropping powers that legalized and expanded the President George W. Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.
The FISA Amendments Act, (.pdf) which was expiring Monday at midnight, allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant so long as one of the parties to the communication is believed outside the United States. [The potential for abuse here is enormous.] The communications may be intercepted “to acquire foreign intelligence information.”
The House approved the measure in September. President Barack Obama, who said the spy powers were a national security priority, is expected to quickly sign the package before the law Congress codified in 2008 expires in the coming days.
The American Civil Liberties Union immediately blasted the vote.
“The Bush administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping, once considered a radical threat to the Fourth Amendment, has become institutionalized for another five years,” said Michelle Richardson, the ACLU’s legislative counsel.
Amendments senators refused to enact included extending the measure for just three years, another one requiring the government to account for how many times Americans’ communications have been intercepted, and one by Wyden prohibiting U.S. spy agencies from reviewing the communications of Americans ensnared in the program.
As a former paralegal, I know warrants aren’t hard to get. All a law enforcement agency has to do to get one is show probable cause (lots of doubt can remain) that a individual is doing something illegal. It is outrageous that that check, minimal as it was, is now gone and that a ah, Constitutional lawyer will sign a bill to extend it another five years.
This has already become so entrenched in our society that there will undoubtedly come a time when extending it for another five years and another five years (and on and on) won’t even make the news.
FBI Investigated ‘Occupy’ As Possible ‘Terrorism’ Threat, Internal Documents Show
According to internal documents newly released by the FBI, the agency spearheaded a nationwide law enforcement effort to investigate and monitor the Occupy Wall Street movement. In certain documents, divisions of the FBI refer to the Occupy Wall Street protests as a “criminal activity” or even “domestic terrorism.”
According to the documents, the FBI coordinated extensively with private companies, including banks, that feared they could be affected by Occupy protests. Occupy, which took root in New York City’s Zuccotti Park in September 2011 and spread to cities across the country, targeted corporations and other forces it believed to perpetuate social inequality. The FBI’s investigation included the movement’s manifestations in New York; Milwaukee; Indianapolis; Anchorage, Alaska; Jacksonville, Fla.; Richmond, Va.; and Memphis, Tenn., among others.
According to the new documents, the FBI began meeting with representatives of the New York Stock Exchange and other businesses as early as August 2011, a month before the Zuccotti Park protests.
I get it. The FBI is protecting the corporatocracy. Tea Partiers are essentially on the side of the corporatocracy, so they’re good.
That sort guy in the blue shirt on the conservative side represents the people I see at the food bank. Some of them don’t stand a chance but Republicans would have us believe “all” they have to do is “work hard and play by the rules” and they’ll be millionaires.
The big story here — according to the “liberal media” — is how this could inconvenience holiday travelers. The big story to me is that these folks are getting paid a pitiful $8 an hour to do yeoman’s work:
Security guards at New York’s JFK Airport are threatening to strike just before Christmas, demanding significant improvements to their working conditions.
About 300 workers will vote tomorrow to authorize the strike, which would begin December 20. They are also considering unionization.
The workers, who are employed by two private companies, Air Serv and Global Elite Group, are responsible for inspecting planes for explosives and contraband before takeoff, and checking airport staff who have access to aircraft.
They are also in charge of directing terminal traffic, according the the New York Post.
The guards are currently paid $8 an hour without benefits
“We want to be issued enough of the proper equipment to be able to do our job and keep the public safe,” Prince Jackson, an Air Serv employee, told Crain’s. “We want more money and benefits.”
Michael Allen, a spokesman for the Service Employees International Union, which is advising the guards, told The Post:
These security officers feel responsible for the safety and security at JFK Airport. They feel it is their duty to bring attention to these gaping holes in preparedness and safety standards.
I find it outrageous that folks who are responsible for keeping BOMBS OFF OF AIRPLANES are paid $8 an hour and they’re working without adequate equipment. I presume that somewhere along the line, money from the Department of Homeland Security trickles down to these people directly or to the companies they work for.
The president has asked congress to authorize $68.9 billion (BILLION) for that agency in his 2013 budget.
Surely we can come up with proper equipment and more than $8 an hour for these people, particularly if we respect and value what they’re doing. If we don’t, then let’s stop playing games and admit we don’t — that keeping bombs off planes isn’t really all that important.
Looks like there’s a good turnout this morning of people protesting how Republicans are trying to screw workers in Michigan. I’d be there if I could:
This is such good news. The Palestinians have been shunned (thanks to Israel and the United States) long enough. I’m all for any move that gives oppressed people a voice. Bravo to the U.N.:
The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state, a long-sought victory for the Palestinians but an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States.
The resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations was approved by a more than two-thirds majority of the 193-member world body — a vote of 138-9, with 41 abstentions.
A Palestinian flag was quickly unfurled on the floor of the General Assembly, behind the Palestinian delegation.
Israel and the United States (embarrassingly) voted against the measure.
Thank god a majority of the members of the U.N. are less hateful and vindictive than the U.S. is; a big factor being that the Israeli lobby doesn’t have a choke-hold on their governments.
UPDATE: Here’s a list of the powerhouse (well, not exactly) nine nations that voted no with the U.S. on this:
Voting “no” Thursday were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The Pacific nations typically support the U.S. and Israel at the U.N. on key General Assembly resolutions.
That’s right Americans. The Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau are on your side.
The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked enforcement of an Illinois law that prohibited people from recording police officers on the job.
The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that found that the state’s anti-eavesdropping law violates free speech rights when used against people who tape law enforcement officers.
The law set out a maximum prison term of 15 years.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in 2010 against Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to block prosecution of ACLU staff for recording police officers performing their duties in public places, one of the group’s long-standing monitoring missions.
Opponents of the law say the right to record police is vital to guard against abuses.
Recording police is vital in guarding against abuses, which is exactly why police departments oppose it, so good on the Supreme Court for what it did today.
Check out this photo the New York Times ran yesterday under the headline: On This, 2 Sides Agree: Fighting Hardened Positions:
The caption under the photo reads: “Girls at a Gaza school were stunned to find it closed.”
Read the article here or at the link above.
That said, I love the reaction from TheAngryArabNewsService which is spot on:
“Girls at a Gaza school were stunned to find it closed[?]“ No, you smart people of the Times. They are stunned obviously to see all that destruction.
Geezus. The NYTimes can’t get past its own spin. Look at the blown-out windows in the background and the rubble. Who does the NYT think it’s kidding?
Hey, I think I know. Itself.
Are unmanned aircraft, known to have difficulty avoiding collisions, safe to use in America’s crowded airspace? And would their widespread use for surveillance result in unconstitutional invasions of privacy?
Experts say neither question has been answered satisfactorily. Yet the federal government is rushing to open America’s skies to tens of thousands of the drones – pushed to do so by a law championed by manufacturers of the unmanned aircraft.
The 60-member House of Representatives’ “drone caucus” – officially, the House Unmanned Systems Caucus – has helped push that agenda. And over the last four years, caucus members have drawn nearly $8 million in drone-related campaign contributions, an investigation by Hearst Newspapers and the Center for Responsive Politics shows.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been flooded with applications from police departments, universities, private corporations and even the celebrity gossip site TMZ, all seeking to use drones that range from devices the size of a hummingbird to full-sized aircraft like those used by the U.S. military to target al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan and elsewhere.
Maybe those crazy liberal Hollywood celebrities will save us from this insanity. After all, they stand to lose a lot. Imagine TMZ’s drones hovering outside every bedroom window in 90210land.