owenblacker + geo:unitedstates   799

The U.S. Has Almost No Official Presence at COP25 But Is Still “Obstructing Any Progress”
The proposal that U.S. is right now only sharing with heads of delegation and not putting it formally is a way to arm-twist developing countries, that if you want any decision on loss and damage process which can help people, you have to agree that we will continue to have a seat at the table, even when we are out of Paris Agreement. And even more worse is that you have to make sure that the liability waiver is extended to United States and its polluting industries.

This is worst I have seen in the last 10 years of me attending negotiations. It can’t get worse than that. It’s arm-twisting and bullying at the highest level, where United States, which is not meeting its emission targets, is not giving any money to Green Climate Fund and not now even letting a system to be created that can help people who face climate emergency now. I mean, look at the audacity of United States, the way they are behaving in these negotiations.
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Right now U.S. is in all streams of discussions that are happening, be it finance, be it loss and damage, be it adaptation. They’re everywhere. And everywhere they are obstructing and not allowing any progress to happen, and particularly on finance. Now, when we talk about this system that should provide money to climate survivors, they don’t want that system to be created. And this demand is not a new demand. Vanuatu, on behalf of small island states, made the demand for the first time in 1991.

It took us 22 years to set up a mechanism, called Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, in Warsaw in 2013, which had a very clear function: to mobilize finance and help these countries. Last six years, constant bullying and blocking by United States, joined by Australia and even European Union, did not allow even a group to be created that can discuss what the needs are, what the gap is, how money can be mobilized. And that bullying continues at this very moment.
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U.S. is busy protecting the interest of its own administration and polluting industries, so that they can never be held liable for the crisis they have caused. And U.S. is the biggest historical emitter, which means the largest country responsible for this crisis.
by:AmyGoodman  from:DemocracyNow  HarjeetSingh  AsadRehman  ClimateChange  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Vanuatu  pollution  bullying 
3 days ago by owenblacker
U.S. Army Releases Report on Cyber-Soldiers of the Future
The U.S. Army is hard at work imagining what the human–machine hybrids of the future will be able to accomplish on the battlefields of 2050. But the folks in charge of keeping America safe also have their concerns. Specifically, the U.S. Army is worried that humans are biased against deadly cyborg soldiers, just because we’ve all seen the Terminator franchise and it doesn’t work out very well for the humans.
by:MattNovak  from:Gizmodo  cyborg  futurism  military  geo:UnitedStates 
3 days ago by owenblacker
Why Publish a Dire Federal Climate Report on Black Friday? - The Atlantic
“If the United States were to try and achieve the targets in the Paris Agreement, then things will be bad, but we can manage,” he said. “But if we don’t meet them, then we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of lives every year that are at risk because of climate change. And hundreds of billions of dollars.”

If you think the Friday after Thanksgiving seems like an odd day to publish such a major report, you’re right. The assessment was originally scheduled to be released in December at a large scientific conference in Washington, D.C. But earlier this week, officials announced that the report would come out two weeks early, on the afternoon of Black Friday. When politically inconvenient news is published in the final hours of a workweek, politicos call it a “Friday news dump.” Publishing a dire climate report in the final hours of Black Friday might be the biggest Friday news dump of them all.
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a White House spokeswoman did send me a lengthy statement saying that “the United States leads the world in providing affordable, abundant, and secure energy to our citizens, while also leading the world in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions.” (This is only true if you start counting in 2005, when U.S. emissions peaked.) The spokeswoman said this new assessment was based on the “most-extreme scenario,” and promised any future report would have a “more transparent and data-driven process.”
by:RobinsonMeyer  from:TheAtlantic  ClimateChange  politics  geo:UnitedStates 
10 days ago by owenblacker
Unearned Immunity
So again, what do we do with these people? We should absolutely ostracize them (thought that sucks for their kids, obviously), but we don’t. If you’re a parent and you knew a neighbor of yours like killed six people on a gun rampage or something you wouldn’t hang out with that person or let your kids anywhere near them even if he had some really adorable twins or something but that’s not that far off from what anti-vaxxers do, they proactively decide that their weird conspiracy beliefs trump the health and safety of not only their own adorable twins but also every other kid in the vicinity.

The very concept of “personal belief” exemptions with vaccines is the most insane shit, and it is an absolutely glorious demonstration of the failure of our particular form of governance and democracy that it managed to get into official state rules.
by:DaveLevitan  antivaxxers  health  politics  geo:UnitedStates  parenting 
11 days ago by owenblacker
The 2020 Election Is a Year Away. A Lot Could Change.
The year ahead will be no ordinary year.

One year from now, barring historically unusual scenarios, we will know the results of the 2020 election, and who will be the next president of the United States.

But the election is not all that’s at stake. The next 12 months will test the U.S. Constitution and determine the future of the American experiment. Will we manage to keep the republic entrusted to us by the Framers nearly 250 years ago? Or will we squander this imperfect but vital experiment in democracy, surrendering it to the forces of authoritarianism and division represented by President Donald Trump?

Melodramatic? To quote Thomas Paine’s 1776 pamphlet, The American Crisis: “There are cases which cannot be overdone by language, and this is one.”

Here’s what’s ahead in the next 12 months:

◼ The Impeachment of Donald Trump
◼ Election Integrity and Fairness
◼ The Supreme Court
◼ The Rule of Law



This story is part of the project “The Battle for the Constitution”, in partnership with the National Constitution Center.
by:RosaBrooks  from:TheAtlantic  DonaldTrump  USElection2020  SCOTUS  geo:UnitedStates 
5 weeks ago by owenblacker
This Is a Horror Story: How Private Equity Vampires Are Killing Everything
This wrongheaded corporate plundering did not start and will not stop with Deadspin; vampires are forever in need of new hosts. Private-equity firms have quietly taken over a large swath of the American economy: buying up companies, selling them off for parts, then stealing away unscathed. There’s a reason presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has been so outspoken against them. Private equity is a danger to the free press, and a scourge upon the already weakened state of journalism. In just under two years, these firms have turned LA Weekly into a lifeless husk, ravaged The Denver Post, gutted Sports Illustrated, and silently strangled dozens of local newspapers across the country.

Media is far from their only target, though private equity does have a taste for the most vulnerable. Over the past decade, they have killed 1.3 million retail jobs, and the Los Angeles Times reports that 10 of the 14 largest retail chain bankruptcies since 2012 were at private equity-acquired chains.
by:KimKelly  from:TheNation  capitalism  geo:UnitedStates  journalism 
5 weeks ago by owenblacker
This Fox Island classroom on the Chesapeake Bay taught generations of students. As the sea rises, its doors are closing.
Generations of middle and high school students have come here to learn about the fragile ecosystem of the bay. Now, the Virginia island, about six miles from Cris­field, Md., off the Eastern Shore, has succumbed to the very forces these educational programs have sought to fight: a warming climate, rising sea levels and disappearing shores.

Schoolchildren have come to the Fox Island learning center by the busload for nearly half a century. For many, it was like being in another world.

They slept in bunk beds and used compost toilets. They stargazed and combed the beach for terrapin eggs. They mucked through sea grass and dove into heaps of mud. They analyzed their home water usage and devised ways to lessen their carbon footprint. On the walls, they left footprints, names and a message, scrawled over and over again: “SAVE THE BAY.”

In the past 40 years, foundation officials said, water has swallowed about 70 percent of Fox Island — so named because when viewed from above, the land once resembled a fox plodding along through the waves.
by:MarissaJLang  from:TheWashingtonPost  ClimateChange  geo:UnitedStates  education 
6 weeks ago by owenblacker
Thread: Whenever anyone mentions slavery or the atrocities of the past, 3 arguments are always brought up. Let's eliminate them once and for all…
Whenever anyone mentions slavery or the atrocities of the past, 3 arguments are always brought up. Let's eliminate them once and for all:

The first is the most popular: It's not white people's fault because Africans sold other Africans.
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The second argument is that slavery existed since the beginning of time, so why are you whining about American slavery?
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The third argument is basically this: Why y'all keep bringing up old shit? Slavery was over 150 years ago. It doesn't affect you now.
by:MichaelHarriot  from:Twitter  race  geo:UnitedStates  slavery 
6 weeks ago by owenblacker
Has the climate crisis made California too dangerous to live in?
Truth be told, that California began to vanish fairly quickly, as orange groves turned into airplane factories and then tech meccas. The great voices of California in recent years – writers such as Mike Davis and Rebecca Solnit – chronicle the demise of much that was once idyllic in a wave of money, consumption, nimbyism, tax dodging, and corporate greed. The state’s been booming in recent years – it’s the world’s fifth biggest economy, bigger than the UK – but it’s also home to tent encampments of homeless people with no chance of paying rent. And it’s not just climate change that’s at fault: California has always had fires, and the state’s biggest utility, PG&E, is at this point as much an arsonist as electricity provider.

Still, it takes a force as great as the climate crisis to really – perhaps finally – tarnish Eden. In the last decade, the state has endured the deepest droughts ever measured, dry spells so intense that more than a hundred million trees died. A hundred million – and the scientists who counted them warned that their carcasses could “produce wildfires on a scale and of an intensity that California has never seen”. The drought has alternated with record downpours that have turned burned-over stretches into massive house-burying mudslides.
by:BillMcKibben  from:CommentIsFree  geo:UnitedStates  geo:California  ClimateChange 
6 weeks ago by owenblacker
After the Storm
I never thought that I’d see the Mississippi my grandfather had known when he was my age, or even the one my mother saw. The Mississippi that brutally murdered a 14-year old boy for a wolf whistle that we now know never happened. But Katrina revealed things that I could never unsee.

I didn’t know it then, but that vision formed the lens I would bring to the climate movement a decade or so later. I can’t help but see the layers of injustice that led to our current situation. The climate crisis is covered in the fingerprints of slavery and Jim Crow and colonialism and genocide and patriarchy. It’s what happens when large swaths of people are not only systematically “left out,” but forced to be their own gravediggers and pallbearers. I can’t help but see how those same layers complicate and exacerbate the crisis. Who is saved and who is abandoned. Whose bodies litter the road to the “greater good.”
by:MaryHeglar  from:Guernica  HurricaneKatrina  geo:Mississippi  geo:NewOrleans  geo:UnitedStates  race  colonialism  imperialism  genocide 
7 weeks ago by owenblacker
'He earned his spurs from a doctor': James Mattis mocks Trump
“I’m not just an overrated general. I’m the greatest, the world’s most overrated,” he told diners at the annual Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation dinner.

“I’m honoured to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,” he said. “So I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals, and frankly that sounds pretty good to me.”
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But he did save an insult for Trump at the gala.

“I earned my spurs on the battlefield … and Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor,” Mattis said.
from:TheGuardian  from:AssociatedPress  JamesMatti's  DonaldTrump  geo:UnitedStates  politics 
8 weeks ago by owenblacker
The best and most substantive answers of the 4th Democratic debate
Warren: I think this is about our values as a country. Show me your budget, show me your tax plans, and we’ll know what your values are. And right now in America the top 1/10th of 1% have so much wealth, understand this, that if we put a 2¢ tax on their 50-millionth-and-first dollar and on every dollar after that, we would have enough money to provide universal childcare for every baby in this country age 0 to 5.

Universal pre-K for every child, raise the wages of every childcare worker and preschool teacher in America, provide for universal tuition-free college, put $50 bn into historically black colleges and universities … And cancel student loan debt for 95% of the people who have it. My question is not why do Bernie and I support a wealth tax, it’s why does everyone else on the stage think it’s more important to protect billionaires than it is to invest in an entire generation.

Julián Castro: I grew up in neighborhoods where it wasn’t uncommon to hear gunshots at night. I can remember ducking in the back seat of a car as a freshman in high school across the street from my school, a public school, because folks were shooting at each other. Let me answer voluntary versus mandatory [gun buybacks]. There are two problems with mandatory buybacks. Number one, folks can’t define it, and if you’re not going door to door, it’s not really mandatory.

But also, in the places I grew up in, we weren’t exactly looking for another reason for cops to come banging on the door, and you all saw a couple days ago what happened to Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth. A cop showed up at 2 in the morning at her house when she was playing video games with her nephew, he didn’t even announce himself, and within four seconds he shot her and killed her through her own window. She was in her own home. I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door to door in certain communities because police violence is also gun violence and we need to address that.
by:EmilyStewart  by:TaraGolshan  from:Vox  geo:UnitedStates  politics  USElection2020  ElizabethWarren  BernieSanders  KamalaHarris  PeteButtigieg  JuliánCastro  CoryBooker 
8 weeks ago by owenblacker
Trump Followed His Gut on Syria. Calamity Came Fast.
President Trump’s acquiescence to Turkey’s move to send troops deep inside Syrian territory has in only one week’s time turned into a bloody carnage, forced the abandonment of a successful five-year-long American project to keep the peace on a volatile border, and given an unanticipated victory to four American adversaries: Russia, Iran, the Syrian government and the Islamic State.

Rarely has a presidential decision resulted so immediately in what his own party leaders have described as disastrous consequences for American allies and interests. How this decision happened — springing from an “off-script moment” with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, in the words of a senior American diplomat — likely will be debated for years by historians, Middle East experts and conspiracy theorists.

But this much already is clear: Mr. Trump ignored months of warnings from his advisers about what calamities likely would ensue if he followed his instincts to pull back from Syria and abandon America’s longtime allies, the Kurds. He had no Plan B, other than to leave. The only surprise is how swiftly it all collapsed around the president and his depleted, inexperienced foreign policy team.
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And over the weekend, State and Energy Department officials were quietly reviewing plans for evacuating roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons that the United States had long stored, under American control, at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, about 250 miles from the Syrian border, according to two American officials.

Those weapons, one senior official said, were now essentially Erdogan’s hostages. To fly them out of Incirlik would be to mark the de facto end of the Turkish–American alliance. To keep them there, though, is to perpetuate a nuclear vulnerability that should have been eliminated years ago.

“I think this is a first — a country with U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in it literally firing artillery at US forces,” Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies wrote last week.
by:DavidESanger  from:TheNewYorkTimes  DonaldTrump  politics  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Syria  diplomacy  stupid 
8 weeks ago by owenblacker
You can’t trade people’s lives like fucking carbon offsets. No amount of charity donation makes up for enabling their genocidal tactics.
『Ugh, @github is working with ice and the letter from @natfriedman amounts to, “but but but we protest and donate to charity so surely it’s ok if we have a *tiny* $200k contract with ICE.” Githubbers, it’s your turn to say fuck-no. We’ve got your backs.』

You can’t trade people’s lives like fucking carbon offsets. No amount of charity donation makes up for enabling their genocidal tactics.

For those of you wondering whether the term “genocide” is really warranted when referring to ICE tactics, I refer you to the UN definition of the term, adopted in 1948, particularly Article 2, Section E.
by:SarahMei  from:Twitter  genocide  politics  geo:UnitedStates  immigration  DonaldTrump 
9 weeks ago by owenblacker
Xinjiang: The NBA is running a training camp in the middle of one of the world’s worst humanitarian atrocities.
For the region’s Muslims, most of whom belong to a Turkic-speaking minority known as Uighurs, the violations extend beyond imprisonment. Uighurs in Xinjiang can’t wear veils or “abnormal” beards. In late 2017, Chinese authorities reportedly ordered them to relinquish prayer mats and Qurans. It’s difficult for Uighurs to leave their homes without omnipresent police scanning their faces with dystopian accuracy, ostensibly as part of the hunt for “terrorists.” Police require them to install an app—whose name translates to “web cleansing”—on their phones that alerts local authorities to “dangerous” content. They can’t even own certain types of knives without registering them because of fears they will use them for violence. On Aug. 10, a member of a United Nations human rights panel condemned Beijing for turning the region into a “sort of ‘no rights zone.’ ”
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Over the past few years, Xinjiang has become ground zero for a repressive revolution into a total control state. Think less George Orwell and more Michel Foucault, the philosopher of power who described a system of total control as a “cruel, ingenious cage.” Shoppers often must allow their faces to be scanned just to enter markets around the vast region. Passing through dozens of checkpoints on an April trip to Xinjiang, the American Ph.D. student Darren Byler was struck by the casual racism. Uighurs were required to scan their IDs and faced far longer lines and police harassment. Han Chinese—who make up roughly 92 percent of China’s population, and roughly half of Xinjiang’s population of 22 million—did not. “During my entire trip, I did not see a Han individual produce his or her ID, or even pause for a moment to wonder if they should,” he wrote.
by:IsaacStoneFish  from:Slate  geo:China  geo:Turkestan  geo:Xinjiang  genocide  sport  geo:UnitedStates  NationalBasketballAssociation 
9 weeks ago by owenblacker
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: 'Hope is contagious'
AOC: I was really wallowing in despair for a while: what do I do? Is this my life? Just showing up, working, knowing that things are so difficult, then going home and doing it again. And I think what was profoundly liberating was engaging in my first action – when I went to Standing Rock, in the Dakotas, to fight against a fracking pipeline. It seemed impossible at the time. It was just normal people, showing up, just standing on the land to prevent this pipeline from going through. And it made me feel extremely powerful, even though we had nothing, materially – just the act of standing up to some of the most powerful corporations in the world.

From there I learned that hope is not something that you have. Hope is something that you create, with your actions. Hope is something you have to manifest into the world, and once one person has hope, it can be contagious. Other people start acting in a way that has more hope.

GT: Yeah. I know so many people who feel hopeless, and they ask me, “What should I do?” And I say: “Act. Do something.” Because that is the best medicine against sadness and depression. I remember the first day I was school-striking outside the Swedish parliament, I felt so alone, because everyone went straight past, no one even looked at me. But at the same time I was hopeful.
by:EmmaBrockes  from:TheGuardian  ClimateChange  GreenNewDeal  AlexandriaOcasioCortez  GretaThunberg  activism  hope  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Sweden 
10 weeks ago by owenblacker
How the Climate Kids Are Short-Circuiting Right-Wing Media
Faced with a political enemy that pays it no attention, the right is palpably frustrated. They argue that children have become, as a headline on an essay by Commentary’s Noah Rothman put it, “Child Soldiers in the Culture wars,” are insulated against criticism because of their age and innocence. “How do you respond to statements like that?” the Fox News host Tucker Carlson said recently of Ms. Thunberg’s forthright speeches. “The truth is you can’t respond. And of course, that’s the point.”

But as the past week shows, the right is perfectly willing to attack the children. Instead, the problem is that, as Mr. Carlson seems to realize, there’s just not a very resonant counter message for a youth movement to protect the planet. Polling also suggests that there’s an increasingly shrinking pool of conservative listeners for it, with a majority of Republicans under age 45 now identifying as concerned about climate change. And so it feels increasingly likely that, when it comes to climate, the right-wing media, which is skewed toward an aging Republican audience, may simply be obsolete.
by:CharlieWarzel  from:TheNewYorkTimes  ClimateChange  politics  geo:UnitedStates  GretaThunberg 
10 weeks ago by owenblacker
The US–Canada border runs through this tiny library
Step into the Haskell Library and you’d easily mistake it for a typical small-town American library. Sure, it’s a bit more elegant, with original woodwork from 1905 and upholstered reading chairs but, still, a library like any other.

Soon, though, questions nag. Why do the librarians toggle effortlessly between English and French? Why do the stacks contain so many books on French-Canadian history? And, most perplexing of all, what is that black line traversing the floor?

The Haskell, it turns out, is a library like no other. It straddles two nations, with one foot in the US and the other in Canada. That black line running along the floor – a strip of masking tape – marks the international border, separating the towns Derby Line, Vermont, from Stanstead, Quebec. The front door, community bulletin board and children’s books are in the US; the remainder of the collection and the reading room is in Canada.
by:EricWeiner  from:BBC  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Canada  border 
11 weeks ago by owenblacker
Writing a federal government resume
Writing a US federal resume is hard. When I started writing mine, all I wanted was a solid example. What needs to be there, in what order, and what would it look like with real information. This is that example. (Law and Order chimes)

Below are excerpts from my federal resume, along with details and notes about how it’s written and formatted. I want more awesome folks from all backgrounds and experiences as colleagues. I don’t want the resume formatting or particulars to be a mystery; it’s already a very challenging piece of writing.
by:AmandaCostello  from:18F  reference  geo:UnitedStates  work  CV 
12 weeks ago by owenblacker
Why we take issue with the Guardian’s stance on trans rights in the UK
That’s because, days earlier, the Guardian published an editorial that we believe promoted transphobic viewpoints, including some of the same assertions about gender that US politicians are citing in their push to eliminate trans rights. Guardian journalists in the US had no input in the editorial, which we felt was misplaced and misguided, and nearly all reporters and editors from our New York, Washington DC and California offices wrote to UK editors with our concerns.
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The editorial’s unsubstantiated argument only serves to dehumanize and stigmatize trans people. Numerous academic studies have confirmed that trans-inclusive policies do not endanger cis people. On the contrary, there is overwhelming evidence that trans people, particularly women of color, are victimized at disproportionately high rates and suffer abuse in places of public accommodations. Levels of HIV and depression are at crisis levels, all brought about through extreme prejudice and social and economic marginalization.

Trans people are also three times more likely to be sexually assaulted than cis people, which made it all the more troubling that the editorial pointed out that they can be excluded from rape support services in the UK. Like cis women, trans women are subject to gendered violence and misogyny.
by:SamLevin  by:MonaChalabi  by:SabrinaSiddiqui  from:TheGuardian  transphobia  TheGuardian  geo:UnitedKingdom  geo:UnitedStates 
september 2019 by owenblacker
Hamburger Marys Offers A Queer Experience in Cities Across America
Wright says the emphasis on live spectacle is what has allowed the business to compete with dating apps, which are often blamed for siphoning business from queer bars. “Growing up, you’d go to gay bars because you’re hanging out with your friends or you wanted to hook up,” he says. “But Mary’s is a restaurant and people still gotta eat. We have that going for us.”

That said, Hamburger Mary’s ongoing success is due to more than the Spanx and lace front wigs that fill its neon pink dining rooms on Saturday nights. Because the restaurant is an all-ages establishment, it’s a safe haven for younger LGBTQ+ people. And for those who came of age eating Mary’s famous tater tots, it’s a place they’ve continued to return to throughout their lives.
by:NicoLang  from:them.  geo:UnitedStates  LGBTQ 
august 2019 by owenblacker
Britain’s Reichstag Fire moment
But if Hitler’s rise teaches us anything, it’s that the establishment trivialises demagogues at its peril. One disturbing aspect of the present crisis is the extent to which mainstream parties, including US Republicans and British Conservatives, tolerate leaders with tawdry rhetoric and simplistic ideas, just as Papen, Hindenburg, Schleicher and the rest of the later Weimar establishment tolerated first Hitler and then his dismantling of the German constitution. He could not have done it in the way he did without their acquiescence. Republicans know Trump is a charlatan, just as Conservatives know Johnson is lazy, chaotic and superficial, but if these men can get them votes, they’ll lend them support.

Weimar’s democracy did not exactly commit suicide. Most voters never voted for a dicatorship: the most the Nazis ever won in a free election was 37.4 per cent of the vote. But too many conservative politicians lacked the will to defend democracy, either because they didn’t really believe in it or because other matters seemed more pressing. As for rule by emergency decree, few people thought Hitler was doing anything different from Ebert or Brüning when he used Hindenburg’s powers to suspend civil liberties after the Reichstag Fire on 28th February 1933. That decree was then renewed all the way up to 1945. In this sense, democracy was destroyed constitutionally.
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For all the disturbing echoes, we are not reliving the 1930s. Strongmen like Orbán or Jair Bolsonaro (and those like Trump who seem to want to emulate them) don’t need violence to achieve their goals. They have been elected into office, not necessarily by masses disillusioned with democracy—voters, in other words, who are waiting for someone to start giving them orders—but by those who believe that the democracy we’ve had is a sham: that politicians do not listen to the common people, and that elites control everything.

It’s only after they’ve been elected that men like Orbán begin to dismantle the very system that brought them to power—muzzling a free press, attacking independent courts, even seeking to overturn election results they don’t like (as we’ve seen recently with the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul’s mayoral contest). The drive of Trump’s Republicans to impose onerous voter registration rules in the US, designed to depress turnout by African-Americans and others, also reveals an alarming contempt for basic democratic values. So too does the determination of Johnson and Dominic Cummings and their unelected, hard-right government to force through a disastrous no-deal Brexit without parliamentary approval and against the wishes of the majority of the population.
by:RichardJEvans  from:Prospect  Brexit  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom  geo:UnitedStates  BorisJohnson  DonaldTrump  fascism  democracy  history 
august 2019 by owenblacker
The Fact Is Nothing Is Going to Be Done About Climate Change Until It Kills Lots of White People
We only have to see last year's hurricane season to find evidence for this claim. Examine the government's responses to the destruction in Texas and Florida and to that in Puerto Rico. It's day and night. No one even talks about Texas and Florida anymore. Puerto Rico, which only got most of its power back this week (just in time for the next hurricane season), makes the news (and not its headlines) now and then because it's still recovering and lost, according to a report from Harvard University, "at least 4,645." That's more than 70 times the official count of 64. But that high number still means nothing to most white people. It could easily be 400 times or 800 times or 1600 times higher, and still the fortress of climate change denial would be safe from terrified whites. Those lives on that island are black and brown. They do not matter. Politically, the average white person only wakes up when it's: "time to die."
by:CharlesMudede  from:TheStranger  ClimateChange  race  geo:UnitedStates 
august 2019 by owenblacker
Aka Niviâna: Greenland's message for Trump and Denmark: Stop treating us like chattel
Foreigners have asked me several times over the past week whether I was surprised about the wish to buy Greenland. Unfortunately, my answer has been no. I am not surprised that in 2019, we are still talking about people as if we were cattle on the auction block.

I am especially not surprised to hear it from the U.S. president because he has made it clear that the lives of indigenous peoples, and in general those of every race other than his own, have no significant value to him.
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When Trump expressed his wish to buy Greenland, the reaction was also strong on Denmark’s side. A lot of Danes were outraged and found it ridiculous that it was even up for discussion. To me, their response highlighted an important aspect of this issue: Denmark still doesn’t see itself as a colonial power.

The ongoing discussion between the Greenlandic and Danish populations, in which the former try to make this reality clear, receives mostly rationalizations from the side of Denmark. “We only did it to help,” they say. Or, “We treat our colonies better than other colonial powers.”

While to some extent that can be true — the Danes didn’t massacre the native Greenlanders like the Spanish did when they arrived in the Americas — the attitude still erases and silences the people that were affected by this colonial history. It makes it seem as though there were no negative consequences from the Danish occupation of Greenland, though it is common knowledge in both Greenland and Denmark that, for example, children were taken away from their families and brought to Denmark to learn how to be “civilized.”
by:AkaNiviâna  from:NBC  geo:Greenland  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Denmark  colonialism  imperialism 
august 2019 by owenblacker
Five years after Ferguson, has anything changed?
If policing in America is to rebalance from a warrior mindset to a more guardian-based approach, there needs to be a political will to effect change. Police are not going to change significantly until they are either forced or persuaded to do so. It is commonly said that society gets the type of police it wants, and US society overall still considers police to be a trusted institution.
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The relative lack of importance of these deaths to wider US society can be seen in the lack of data on them;the lack of a police or regulatory response to widespread protests and the voicing of legitimate concerns; the use of financial settlements to sweep them under the carpet; and ultimately, the apparent disinterest in trying to learn lessons that could prevent future deaths. Violence and guns are part of the fabric of America. Killing and preventable deaths are considered normal.
by:DavidBaker  from:NewStatesman  police  PoliceBrutality  geo:UnitedStates 
august 2019 by owenblacker
I'm resigning from the Foreign Service. I refuse to be a part of Trump’s ‘Complacent State’ anymore.
Over three tours abroad, I worked to spread what I believed were American values: freedom, fairness and tolerance. But more and more I found myself in a defensive stance, struggling to explain to foreign peoples the blatant contradictions at home.

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, I spoke of American openness and friendship at consulate events as my country carried out mass deportations and failed thousands of “dreamers.” I attended celebrations of Black History Month at our embassy in Lisbon as black communities in the United States demanded justice for Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. And in Vancouver, I touted the strength of the United States’ democracy at the consulate’s 2016 election-night party as a man who campaigned on racism, misogyny and wild conspiracy theories became president-elect.

Since then, I have seen Trump assert the moral equivalence of violent white nationalists and those who oppose them, denigrate immigrants from “shithole countries” and separate children from their parents at the border, only to place them in squalid detention centers.


The Complacent State sighs when the president blocks travel by Muslim immigrants; shakes its head when he defends Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; averts its gaze from images of children in detention camps. Then it complies with orders.

Every day, we refuse visas based on administration priorities. We recite administration talking points on border security, immigration and trade. We plan travel itineraries, book meetings and literally hold doors open for the appointees who push Trump’s toxic agenda around the world.

So when I read a recent New York Times op-ed calling for the public shaming of the “midlevel functionaries who make the system run,” I squirmed in my seat. We rank-and-file, like the Justice Department lawyer who recently endured public scrutiny for defending the administration’s terrible treatment of detained children, don’t like to be called out. And when we are, we shrink behind a standard argument — that we are career officials serving nonpartisan institutions.

We should be named and shamed. But how should we respond?
by:ChuckPark  from:TheWashingtonPost  DonaldTrump  politics  geo:UnitedStates  fascism 
august 2019 by owenblacker
Rolling Stone: Slipknot's Corey Taylor: 'There Are Too Many Fucking Guns in America'
Speaking to the Independent prior to the release of Slipknot’s new album We Are Not Your Kind – and two days before the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio – Taylor said, “There are too many fucking guns in America. I could walk outside right now and find a gun within minutes. There’s a very toxic gun culture here, it’s a cult, and it worries me.”
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Taylor continued, “If you’re looking for a certain kind of rhetoric, whether it’s hating black people or gay people or whatever, there are thousands of sites with people posting about it. We’re seeing the repercussions of a failure to address that. They still wanna blame the fucking music, and it’s been happening since the Sixties to ‘85 with Tipper Gore…”

In the aftermath of the Dayton shooting, Taylor slammed a journalist who attempted to place blame on the Acadia Strain, the metalcore band whose hooded sweatshirt the shooter wore. “No. You don’t get to fucking do that. This isn’t about a fucking t shirt. And the Acacia Strain are not a hateful or vengeful band. Blame the KILLER; not the fucking WARDROBE. You Ghoul,” Taylor tweeted.
by:DanielKreps  from:RollingStone  geo:UnitedStates  guns  CoreyTaylor 
august 2019 by owenblacker
There Is Nothing Wrong With Julián Castro’s Spanish
The problem with Julián Castro’s Spanish is not whether he is an English monolingual, uses the wrong prepositions or alternates between English and Spanish pronunciation. There is, in fact, no problem with Mr. Castro’s Spanish, other than prejudice against Latino Spanish-speakers.
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In truth, terms like “fluent” and “bilingual” mean little because they are vague and subjective. When Latinos describe their Spanish as not fluent or not good enough, they have often internalized the idea that the Spanish spoken in, say, the West Side neighborhood of San Antonio is inferior to the Spanish spoken in Madrid, Bogotá, Colombia; or Puebla, Mexico. But to my ears, all varieties of Spanish are equally valid.

Rather than parsing the accuracy of Mr. Castro’s perception of his Spanish-speaking abilities, I find it more useful to focus on why language minorities tend to undervalue their own proficiency.
by:RobertoReyAgudo  from:TheNewYorkTimes  language  lang:español  race  politics  geo:UnitedStates  USElection2020 
july 2019 by owenblacker
Republicans' Quest for a White America Is Destroying America
Already, Trump and the Republicans have severely harmed the institutional heft of checks-and-balances. But they’re not done. America’s international reputation and influence rest on enormous economic and military strength, as well as the intangible but all-important “soft power” brought on by a robust democracy. All three pillars are necessary to sustain America’s nearly global respect and position, yet — and this was the rub — all three are increasingly dependent on more than just whites in the United States to build and sustain. For white America to exist, America must die. And the Republicans have made their choice.
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Put simply, because Trump promises Republicans a return to white dominance, he is more important to the GOP and its base than the country those in power took an oath to support and defend.
by:CarolAnderson  from:Time  race  geo:UnitedStates  politics  Republicans  DonaldTrump  MitchMcConnell 
july 2019 by owenblacker
Want democratic accountability? Look to Ricky Martin, not Robert Mueller.
The Puerto Rican protests were ignited by the revelation of almost 900 pages of crude and offensive texts between Rosselló and his inner-circle. They built on years of organizing in opposition to the austerity policies. But the real root of the protests actually dates back to the United States assuming colonial control over the island in 1898, leaving the people of Puerto Rico both part of the U.S. and outside of it — a curious condition the Supreme Court once endorsed as “foreign in a domestic sense.”

Puerto Ricans can be drafted to the military but they can’t vote for president, and the island’s congressional representative can’t vote, either. The United States has used Puerto Rico as a laboratory of cruelty for military drills, police surveillance and austerity.
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The marches in Puerto Rico this month have been as joyous as they are indignant. Popular musicians Bad Bunny, Calle-13, Residente and Ricky Martin helped lead the protests, which promised to “make the country unmanageable” unless Rosselló resigned. Martin, who is gay and was a target of homophobic slurs in Rosselló’s text messages, paused his career to join the protests. He can be seen waving a rainbow flag atop a truck, surrounded by Puerto Rican flags and people laughing, dancing and chanting. That joy, echoed in videos of Puerto Ricans watching Rosselló’s resignation speech, was a reminder that even in hard times, collective action can be a joyous affair. In fact, it can supply the joy needed to survive hard times.
by:DanBerger  by:CarlyGoodman  from:TheWashingtonPost  geo:UnitedStates  geo:PuertoRico  activism  democracy  RickyMartin  RobertMueller  DonaldTrump  RicardoRosselló 
july 2019 by owenblacker
Donald Trump wants to be a dictator. It’s not enough just to laugh at him
Here’s the latest example of how the comedy can distract. On Thursday Donald Trump marked the Fourth of July by praising the US military, invoking the heroism of an army that defeated the British in the 18th century in part because “it took over the airports”. Lol: behold, the ignoramus president. Cue more chuckles as Trump delivered that speech during a downpour, the Almighty himself apparently deciding to rain on Trump’s parade.

But all those giggles served to obscure the more pressing fact: that in a departure from all precedent, Trump had used Independence Day to stage a military display, in which M1A2 tanks and Bradley armoured vehicles rolled into Washington, while fighter jets and helicopters filled the sky. The generals, mindful of the need to separate military and political power, had long opposed this extravaganza and, tellingly, most of the joint chiefs contrived to stay away. They understood that such a pageant is the stuff of despots, not democrats.

Another image framed this split-screen 4 July: that of the children, separated from their parents, who are caged in detention camps on America’s southern border. Accounts by lawyers and doctors who were allowed brief visits to these hellish places are almost unbearable to read: children deprived of sleep, denied access to blankets or mattresses, not allowed to wash their hands or brush their teeth; toddlers left alone on cold, hard floors, so traumatised they sit in stunned, tearless silence. I’m especially haunted by the report of “a suicidal four-year-old whose face was covered in bloody, self-inflicted scratches”.
by:JonathanFreedland  from:CommentIsFree  geo:UnitedStates  DonaldTrump  ConcentrationCamps  fascism  politics  genocide  ChildAbuse 
july 2019 by owenblacker
How the Green New Deal could transform Big Tech
Given that many corporations aren’t as focused on sustainability, the tech companies’ efforts to reduce emissions appear at first to be a good track record. But as the fight against climate change heats up, the big tech companies’ claims and commitments still are not enough to make an impact on a widening emissions gap—in 2018, global emissions levels rose 2.7% after years of not growing at all. The UN says that these levels must drop 55% by 2030 to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.


“Let’s get over this notion that [tech companies] are some kind of heroes. They’re not,” says Richard Wiles, the director of the Center for Climate Integrity. “They’re doing the least they can do to get the most greenwashing benefit out of it,” he says, referring to the practice of promoting an organization’s environmental record when its products and practices actually aren’t good for the climate.

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Hardware materials like smartphones, for instance, are made out of rare earth metals like gold and cobalt that are intensively mined in developing countries though a process that both damages the environment and fails to protect workers. Furthermore, tech has often leaned on a strategy of “planned obsolescence” to encourage people to continue buying new products. Tech products are designed to break down after a few years of use and are difficult to repair, necessitating further production and contributing to a global e-waste crisis.

From a product perspective, the industry needs to shift from a model of extraction and waste-creation to one that emphasizes sustainable material usage, recycling, and repair. That shift is already starting. Apple has said publicly that it wants to stop mining the earth altogether and is working on developing synthetic versions of rare metals, part of its plan to make electronics using only recycled or renewable materials. Microsoft is also working to ramp up product recycling: This year, as part of its new sustainability commitments, the company will be implementing a new program to refurbish and resell server hardware. Google is working along similar lines: As of 2018, 18% of the servers the company deployed across its enormous data centers were refurbished.
by:KatharineSchwab  from:FastCompany  ClimateChange  BigTech  inequality  geo:UnitedStates 
june 2019 by owenblacker
How the Green New Deal will transform the building industry
It’s easy to miss just how destructive and inefficient land development is, given its ubiquity. Existing buildings hoover up about 40% of energy consumed in the U.S. and emit about 29% of greenhouse gases. The Green New Deal calls for retrofitting all of them—every last skyscraper, McDonald’s, and suburban ranch home—for energy efficiency within the next 10 years. It also addresses the role of the construction industry, which accounts for about 11% of all emissions globally, by recommending investment in community-led building projects oriented around decarbonization issues like resiliency, transit, and land preservation. And crucially, it demands family-sustaining wages, the right to organize, and a “just transition” for everyone affected by the transition to this decarbonized world.

House Republicans quickly declared the resolution a “boondoggle” in an official statement. It was an ironic choice of words. Whether the GOP realized it or not, that term emerged in the 1930s, when critics of the New Deal used it to characterize the project of putting broke Americans to work on hundreds of thousands of projects. It’s true that the Green New Deal’s goals—to reshape the country’s homes, workplaces, and economy, and provide equity for all—sound radical in a country ravaged by the housing crisis, worker exploitation, and stagnating wages, but from a technical, structural, and architectural standpoint, they’re entirely feasible. Despite what politicians would have you believe, we’ve done it before, and we have the tools to do it again.

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And if we choose to do nothing, reasoning, as some have, that the Green New Deal is just too big? America will be transformed anyway—but by devastating environmental disasters. Whichever path we choose, life in 2019 will probably seem like an outlandish, fading dream to Americans of the next century. What remains to be done now is decide what life will look like for them.
by:KelseyCampbellDollaghan  from:FastCompany  long-read  GreenNewDeal  ClimateChange  geo:UnitedStates  AlexandriaOcasioCortez 
june 2019 by owenblacker
The problem with billionaires fighting climate change is the billionaires
For every Michael Bloomberg there are dozens of Koch brothers and Rebekah Mercers, who have poured tens of millions of dollars into spreading climate denial and blocking decarbonization efforts at the local, state and national level. None of them should have as much money as they do.

The climate crisis isn’t going to be solved with the benevolence of a couple of billionaires, and their outsized control over our politics and economy stands in contradiction to our hopes for a livable future. With rightwing populism on the rise around the world, having elites like Bloomberg as the public face of the climate fight is also risky politics. We don’t need their money to fund the Green New Deal – the US has more than enough for that – but we should take it anyway, with a far more progressive tax system than the one we’ve got.
by:KateAronoff  from:CommentIsFree  inequality  capitalism  tax  ClimateChange  GreenNewDeal  geo:UnitedStates  politics  RonaldReagan 
june 2019 by owenblacker
‘A major punch in the gut’: Midwest rains projected to create near-record dead zone in Gulf
As rain deluged the Midwest this spring, commercial fisherman Ryan Bradley knew it was only a matter of time before the disaster reached him.

All that water falling on all that fertilizer-enriched farmland would soon wend its way through streams and rivers into Bradley’s fishing grounds in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Mississippi coast. The nutrient excess would cause tiny algae to burst into bloom, then die, sink, and decompose on the ocean floor — a process that sucks all the oxygen from the water, turning it toxic. Fish would suffocate or flee, leaving Bradley and his fellow fishermen nothing to harvest.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Louisiana State University confirmed Bradley’s worst fears in forecasts published Monday, predicting this spring’s record rainfall would produce one of the largest-ever “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico. An area the size of New Jersey could become almost entirely barren this summer, posing a threat to marine species — and the fishermen who depend on them.
by:SarahKaplan  from:TheWashingtonPost  ClimateChange  DeadZone  agriculture  fishing  geo:UnitedStates 
june 2019 by owenblacker
The climate crisis is our third world war. It needs a bold response
When the US was attacked during the second world war no one asked, “Can we afford to fight the war?” It was an existential matter. We could not afford not to fight it. The same goes for the climate crisis. Here, we are already experiencing the direct costs of ignoring the issue – in recent years the country has lost almost 2% of GDP in weather-related disasters, which include floods, hurricanes, and forest fires. The cost to our health from climate-related diseases is just being tabulated, but it, too, will run into the tens of billions of dollars – not to mention the as-yet-uncounted number of lives lost. We will pay for climate breakdown one way or another, so it makes sense to spend money now to reduce emissions rather than wait until later to pay a lot more for the consequences – not just from weather but also from rising sea levels. It’s a cliche, but it’s true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
by:JosephStiglitz  from:CommentIsFree  ClimateChange  GreenNewDeal  politics  geo:UnitedStates 
june 2019 by owenblacker
Shocked by the rise of the right? Then you weren’t paying attention
This is not some new virus; it’s a susceptibility to a chronic illness that has crippled us for years. Ethnic and racial plurality and migration as a lived experience are older than any nation state, but equality is a relatively new idea, and some don’t like it. People forget how recently African Americans couldn’t vote, and that Winston Churchill told his cabinet “Keep England White” was a good campaign slogan.

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Racism was the wedge the enemies of cosmopolitanism and plurality used to prise open a broader cleavage that is dividing us all.

It’s not clear this lesson has been learned. Most, but by no means all, remain devotees I have encountered are far more fluent in the language of race accusation (pointing out the bigotry of the Brexiters) than in the anti-racist activism that would put a racially diverse and plural Britain at the heart of their worldview. Some would be happy if we went back to the way we were before we voted to leave. But that would mean returning to a place where two-thirds of ethnic minority people faced racial abuse. No wonder these second referendum marches are so white.

These rivers run deep – winding through empire, imperialism, caste, settlement, colonialism, white supremacy and beyond. That’s not all these countries are. Wherever there is bigotry you will find an impressive tradition opposing it and a potential audience willing to be weaned off it.

¶¶
Attempts to triangulate with weasel words about the “legitimate concerns” of “traditional voters” are dishonest. Concerns about high class sizes and over-stretched welfare services are obviously legitimate; blaming ethnic minorities for them is obviously not. Facilitating a conflation of the two and hoping no one will notice is spineless. It also doesn’t work. Those who dedicate their lives to racism are better at it, and will never be satisfied. Pandering does not steal their thunder – it gives them legitimacy.

There is precious little value in pointing out, once every four or five years, that racism is a problem if you are not advocating an agenda in the intervening time that posits anti-racism as a solution. In the words of the great white hope of Conservative electoral strategy, Australian Lynton Crosby: “You can’t fatten the pig on market day.” You can’t go around producing anti-immigration mugs, pathologising Muslims and demonising asylum seekers for a decade and then expect a warm a reception for open borders in the few months before a referendum.
by:GaryYounge  from:CommentIsFree  Brexit  NigelFarage  BorisJohnson  DonaldTrump  Narendra  Modi  immigration  racism  nationalism  geo:UnitedKingdom  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Europe  geo:India  LyntonCrosby  islamophobia  xenophobia  fascism 
may 2019 by owenblacker
State Department to LGBT Married Couples: Your ‘Out of Wedlock’ Kids Aren’t Citizens
Last summer, the State Department issued new rules unilaterally changing the department’s interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a 1952 law that, along with the 14th Amendment, codifies eligibility for U.S. birthright citizenship.

“The U.S. Department of State interprets the INA to mean that a child born abroad must be biologically related to a U.S. citizen parent,” the State Department’s website says. “Even if local law recognizes a surrogacy agreement and finds that U.S. parents are the legal parents of a child conceived and born abroad… if the child does not have a biological connection to a U.S. citizen parent, the child will not be a U.S. citizen at birth.”

The Kivitis are each biologically related to their children. Under the policy, however, children born via gestational surrogacy and other forms of assisted reproductive technology (ART) are considered to be born “out of wedlock,” in the State Department’s words—even if their parents, like Roee and Adiel, are legally married.

“They basically take our marriage, and they say ‘It doesn’t mean anything. Your child was born out of wedlock,’” Adiel said. “We were there when she was born, she took her first breaths in our arms. Make no mistake: We are her parents—we are her only parents on her only birth certificate.”

Children born out of wedlock face higher legal and logistical hurdles to obtaining birthright citizenship: In addition to submission of DNA tests proving genetic links to U.S. citizen parents, their parents must be able to testify that they can support their children financially, and must prove that they have been present in the United States for at least five years prior to the child’s birth. Adiel, who was born in Israel, only recently became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He had lived in the United States since May 2015, and for one year in law school, but still fell short of five years.

“We are now in a very, very strange scenario,” Adiel said. “We are both American citizens; we live in the U.S.; I have a business here, Roee has his job here; we file our taxes as a married couple here... and the State Department is saying that our daughter isn’t entitled to U.S. citizenship because she was born ‘out of wedlock.’”
by:ScottBixby  from:TheDailyBeast  geo:UnitedStates  homophobia  citizenship  EqualMarriage  DonaldTrump  Republicans 
may 2019 by owenblacker
Philadelphia’s Pride Flag Matters
It’s worth noting that black and brown people have been integral to the struggle for LGBT rights. African American and Puerto Rican drag queens were among those who rose up against police harassment and brutality at the Stonewall Inn in June 1969, ushering in a new era of queer activism. The gay liberation movement that followed in the 1970s was modeled in part on the black freedom struggle that preceded it, and the two movements found common cause around the issue of police brutality.¹ Later on, black gay activists played a key role in convincing the City Council to add sexual orientation to Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance.²

And yet black and brown people have long been marginalized within Philadelphia’s LGBT spaces and institutions. Last year video of iCandy owner Darryl DePiano using a racial slur to describe black customers surfaced on YouTube. Around the same time Philly Pride youth marshal Kemar Jewel, who is black, was turned away from Woody’s, supposedly because he violated the bar’s dress code by wearing sweatpants and sneakers.

That kind of racial discrimination has been a problem in the Gayborhood for decades. In the 1970s and 1980s it was common practice for gay bars to ask men of color for multiple forms of ID, while letting white customers enter freely. In 1984 Philadelphia community groups formed a committee to investigate discrimination in Center City’s gay bars. They found that both racism and sexism were endemic in the Gayborhood, where bars used “neutral” policies such as dress codes and ID requirements to exclude women and minority customers.³ Apparently little has changed.
by:DanRoyles  from:Medium  from:ThinkQueerly  Pride  LGBTQ  inclusion  race  geo:Philadelphia  geo:UnitedStates  Privilege 
may 2019 by owenblacker
Philadelphia’s new, inclusive gay pride flag is making gay white men angry
“It’s a push for people to start listening to people of color in our community, start hearing what they’re saying,” Amber Hikes, the new executive director of Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs, told NBC. “And really to believe them and to step up and say, ‘What can I do to help eradicate these issues in our community?’”

Hikes told NBC that most of the pushback her office has received in response to the new flag has come from white gay men. And to be fair, it’s unclear whether the white gay men who have complained about the flag are fully aware of the discrimination that’s been documented within Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community, or the context of the flag’s inclusionary message that’s specific to the city.

But the controversy over Philly’s flag is telling.

In particular, it brings attention to what Vice aptly sums up as “the lack of intersectionality” in LGBTQ culture. In simple terms, there are some LGBTQ people who will fight for LGBTQ-specific rights — e.g., same-sex marriage — but then fall short when it comes to other issues that affect LGBTQ people, like racism or sexism or economic inequality.

And there have been many times when the LGBTQ community at large has failed its poor and non-white members, and that many LGBTQ people, particularly white gay men, have failed to recognize or ignored those failings.
by:AlexAbadSantos  from:Vox  Pride  LGBTQ  inclusion  race  geo:Philadelphia  geo:UnitedStates  Privilege 
may 2019 by owenblacker
A Former Alt-Right Member’s Message: Get Out While You Still Can
This is an interesting piece — and one worth understanding.

Because, assuming we manage to defeat the fascism nipping at the heels of "Western culture", there's a fuckload of disaffected, radicalised young fascists like Katie McHugh.

And somehow we're gonna need to deprogramme them and work out how to integrate them back into society. And we're gonna need to work out how to do it more successfully than the Reconstruction of the American South.

//“She seemed that she did have some interest in [the Wolves of Vinland],” this person said. “In 2014, I was in the hospital and when you’re in the hospital people bring you things to read. And she brought me this little pagan pamphlet. And I was like, Oh, we gotta stop this. Nip this in the bud.” The friend gave her a copy of City of God, St. Augustine’s seminal defense of Christianity in the declining years of the Roman Empire. He thinks it brought her back from the brink. “She was like, Oh, this book’s incredible,” he said. “At that point, it was that she was not going to become a pagan, that she was gonna remain a Christian.”
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In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt writes about the way the lonely deduce the worst, and the way that totalitarian government “bases itself on loneliness, on the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man. …What makes loneliness so unbearable is the loss of one’s own self which can be realized in solitude, but confirmed in its identity only by the trusting and trustworthy company of my equals.” White nationalism thrives on the loneliness of the disaffected; McHugh’s own loneliness aided her escape — but with the help of the two friends.

McHugh recently discovered the English academic Roger Griffin’s theory of palingenetic ultranationalism — the idea that fascism hinges on the idea of rebirth, that the old order would be swept away and the new one heroically installed, promising a new beginning and a better life for the people. Now, she says she sees how much of all this was a fantasy designed to comfort disaffected men who were isolated and insecure.
by:RosieGray  from:Buzzfeed  politics  fascism  geo:UnitedStates  KatieMcHugh  RichardSpencer  SteveBannon  Breitbart  WolvesOfVinland  KevinDeAnna  JaredTaylor  JoeSobran 
may 2019 by owenblacker
Why is the US news media so bad at covering climate change?
If 1.5 °C is the new limit for a habitable planet, how can newsrooms tell that story in ways that will finally resonate with their audiences? And given journalism’s deeply troubled business model, how can such coverage be paid for? Some preliminary suggestions.

◼️Don’t blame the audience, and listen to the kids.
◼️Establish a diverse climate desk, but don’t silo climate coverage.
◼️Learn the science.
◼️Don’t internalize the spin.
◼️Lose the Beltway mindset.
◼️Help the heartland.
◼️Cover the solutions.
◼️Don’t be afraid to point fingers.
by:KylePope  by:MarkHertsgaard  from:TheGuardian  ClimateChange  journalism  geo:UnitedStates 
april 2019 by owenblacker
US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say
Even after the formal monitoring mechanism was stripped from the resolution, the US was still threatening to veto the watered-down version, because it includes language on victims’ support from family planning clinics. In recent months, the Trump administration has taken a hard line, refusing to agree to any UN documents that refer to sexual or reproductive health, on grounds that such language implies support for abortions. It has also opposed the use of the word “gender”, seeking it as a cover for liberal promotion of transgender rights.
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“If we let the Americans do this and take out this language, it will be watered down for a long time,” a European diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, said. “It is, at its heart, an attack on the progressive normative framework established over the past 25 years.”

“Until the Trump administration, we could always count on the Americans to help us defend it. Now the Americans have switched camp,” the diplomat said. “Now it’s an unholy alliance of the US, the Russians, the Holy See, the Saudis and the Bahrainis, chipping away at the progress that has been made.”
by:JulianBorger  from:TheGuardian  feminism  abortion  SexualAssault  SexualHealth  WarCrime  geo:UnitedStates  DonaldTrump  Republicans 
april 2019 by owenblacker
The US Government Will Use Facial Recognition In Top Airports
In March 2017, President Trump issued an executive order expediting the deployment of biometric verification of the identities of all travelers crossing US borders. That mandate stipulates facial recognition identification for “100 percent of all international passengers,” including American citizens, in the top 20 US airports by 2021. Now, the United States Department of Homeland Security is rushing to get those systems up and running at airports across the country. But it's doing so in the absence of proper vetting, regulatory safeguards, and what some privacy advocates argue is in defiance of the law.

US Customs and Border Protection is scrambling to implement this “biometric entry-exit system,” […] in as little as two years, to meet Trump's accelerated timeline for a biometric system that had initially been signed into law by the Obama administration. This, despite questionable biometric confirmation rates and few, if any, legal guardrails.

These same documents state — explicitly — that there were no limits on how partnering airlines can use this facial recognition data. CBP did not answer specific questions about whether there are any guidelines for how other technology companies involved in processing the data can potentially also use it. It was only during a data privacy meeting last December that CBP made a sharp turn and limited participating companies from using this data. But it is unclear to what extent it has enforced this new rule.
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The documents also suggest that CBP skipped portions of a critical “rulemaking process,” which requires the agency to solicit public feedback before adopting technology intended to be broadly used on civilians, something privacy advocates back up. This is worrisome because — beyond its privacy, surveillance, and free speech implications — facial recognition technology is currently troubled by issues of inaccuracy and bias. …

“I think it’s important to note what the use of facial recognition [in airports] means for American citizens,” Jeramie Scott, director of EPIC’s Domestic Surveillance Project, told BuzzFeed News in an interview. “It means the government, without consulting the public, a requirement by Congress, or consent from any individual, is using facial recognition to create a digital ID of millions of Americans.”
by:DaveyAlba  from:Buzzfeed  geo:UnitedStates  surveillance  transport  FacialRecognition 
april 2019 by owenblacker
The growing appetite for armed drones in the Middle East
Armed drones have become ubiquitous in the Middle East, say Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi and Justin Bronk of the Royal United Services Institute, a British think-tank, in a recent report. America has jealously guarded the export of such aircraft for fear that they might fall out of government hands, be turned on protesters or used against Israel. America has also been constrained by the Missile Technology Control Regime, an arms-control agreement signed by 35 countries, including Russia, that restricts the transfer of particularly capable missiles and drones (both rely on the same underlying technology).

China, which is not a signatory, has stepped in. It has few hang-ups about human rights and no pesky Congress to block deals. It has sold missile-toting drones to Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). All are American security partners. … Other countries, such as Israel, Turkey and Iran, have filled the gap with their own models.
from:TheEconomist  drones  geo:MiddleEast  geo:NearEast  geo:UnitedStates  geo:China  ArmsTrade 
march 2019 by owenblacker
The Making of the Fox News White House
When Shine assumed command at Fox, the 2016 campaign was nearing its end, and Trump and Clinton were all but tied. That fall, a FoxNews.com reporter had a story that put the network’s journalistic integrity to the test. Diana Falzone, who often covered the entertainment industry, had obtained proof that Trump had engaged in a sexual relationship in 2006 with a pornographic film actress calling herself Stormy Daniels. Falzone had worked on the story since March, and by October she had confirmed it with Daniels through her manager at the time, Gina Rodriguez, and with Daniels’s former husband, Mike Moz, who described multiple calls from Trump. Falzone had also amassed e-mails between Daniels’s attorney and Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, detailing a proposed cash settlement, accompanied by a nondisclosure agreement. Falzone had even seen the contract.

But Falzone’s story didn’t run—it kept being passed off from one editor to the next. After getting one noncommittal answer after another from her editors, Falzone at last heard from LaCorte, who was then the head of FoxNews.com. Falzone told colleagues that LaCorte said to her, “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.” LaCorte denies telling Falzone this, but one of Falzone’s colleagues confirms having heard her account at the time.

Despite the discouragement, Falzone kept investigating, and discovered that the National Enquirer, in partnership with Trump, had made a “catch and kill” deal with Daniels—buying the exclusive rights to her story in order to bury it. Falzone pitched this story to Fox, too, but it went nowhere. News of Trump’s payoffs to silence Daniels, and Cohen’s criminal attempts to conceal them as legal fees, remained unknown to the public until the Wall Street Journal broke the story, a year after Trump became President.

In January, 2017, Fox demoted Falzone without explanation. That May, she sued the network. Her attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, declined to comment but acknowledged that a settlement has been reached; it includes a nondisclosure agreement that bars Falzone from talking about her work at Fox.
¶¶
According to a Senate staffer, one high-profile Republican senator claims that his preferred way of getting the President’s ear is by going on Fox. He calls a friendly host and offers to appear on the air; usually, before he’s taken his makeup off in the greenroom Trump is calling him. “It’s the way to get into his head,” the Senate staffer says.

Gertz is not alone in believing that Fox hosts played a key part in driving Trump’s recent shutdown of the government and his declaration of a national emergency on the southern border. Hannity and Dobbs urged Trump nightly on their shows to make these moves; according to press reports, they also advised Trump personally to do so.

On December 19th, with Republicans still in control of both houses of Congress, Trump’s staff indicated that he would sign a spending bill with $1.6 billion earmarked for border security. That night, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh assailed the deal, and the next morning Fox pounded Trump. Representative Mark Meadows, of North Carolina, a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, appeared on “Fox & Friends,” calling the bill not a “punt” but a “fumble,” and warning Trump not to “cave.” At 7:33 a.m., Hegseth tweeted at Trump, “Don’t listen to squish advisers. . . . No WALL = SHUT IT DOWN.” By the next day, Trump had refused to sign the spending bill, forcing much of the government to shut down. For the next thirty-five days, Hannity and the other Fox hosts kept cheering Trump on, even as polls showed that the American public was increasingly opposed to the shutdown. Oliver Darcy, of CNN, says that Democrats, rather than negotiating with Trump, “might as well call Sean Hannity and get him on the phone,” adding, “It seems we sort of elected Sean Hannity when we elected Trump.”

Gertz, of Media Matters, argues, “The President’s world view is being specifically shaped by what he sees on Fox News, but Fox’s goals are ratings and money, which they get by maximizing rage. It’s not a message that is going to serve the rest of the country.” Blair Levin, the former F.C.C. official, says that Trump and Fox are employing the same risky model: inflaming the base and intensifying its support, rather than building a broader coalition. Narrowcasting may generate billions of dollars for a cable channel, but as a governing strategy it inevitably alienates the majority. The problem for Trump, as one former Fox host puts it, is that “he can’t afford to lose Fox, because it’s all he’s got.”

Similarly, Fox has a financial incentive to make Trump look good. Cable ratings at both Fox and MSNBC dip when the news is bad for their audience’s side. Van Susteren likens the phenomenon to audiences turning away when their sports team is losing. During the Bush Administration’s disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina, Fox’s ratings slumped so badly, a former Fox producer told me, that he was told to stop covering it.
¶¶
Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic veteran of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, went on Fox regularly for more than ten years. In November, 2017, he had a heated on-air exchange with a Fox host, Melissa Francis, about the Republican tax bill. When Francis hectored him, accusing him of merely repeating talking points, he vowed on the air never to return. “It was always clear that this wasn’t just another news organization,” Rosenberg told me. “But when Ailes departed, and Trump was elected, the network changed. They became more combative, and started treating me like an enemy, not an opponent.” With Shine joining Trump at the White House, he said, “it’s as if the on-air talent at Fox now have two masters—the White House and the audience.” In his view, the network has grown so allied with the White House in the demonization of Trump’s critics that “Fox is no longer conservative—it’s anti-democratic.”
by:JaneMayer  from:TheNewYorker  journalism  propaganda  DonaldTrump  RupertMurdoch  FoxNews  corruption  geo:UnitedStates  politics 
march 2019 by owenblacker
Saltwater intrusion: Rising seas are poisoning North Carolina's farmland
Pugh, 41, has spent his adult life growing soybeans, corn and cotton in North Carolina’s “blacklands,” where the dark and fertile soil is a legacy of nutrient-rich swamps that were drained to make the region arable. His father farmed here in Hyde County before him, and his grandfather before that. Pugh felt he was prepared for the challenges he would face with the brackish Pamlico Sound within spitting distance and just the thin sandy barrier of the Outer Banks between his farmland and the open ocean.

But lately, the problems have become relentless. Hyde County has been part of a declared disaster zone during four of the past five years, Gibbs says. Heavy rainfall and strong winds have caused millions of dollars in damage. Hurricanes Matthew in 2016 and Florence in 2018 brought several feet of storm surge that inundated the area with seawater.

Although Pugh and Gibbs demur when asked what they think is behind the recent disasters, ­science suggests that climate change plays a major role. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that sea levels near Pamlico Sound are rising at a rate of 4.4 millimeters per year — equivalent to nearly 1.5 feet over the next century. Other research has shown that warmer oceans make Atlantic hurricanes wetter, slower and more intense, resulting in more catastrophic storms like Florence.
¶¶
Though it’s known that saltwater intrusion is linked to sea-level rise caused by climate change, scientists aren’t certain exactly how salt winds up in farmers’ fields. One hypothesis is that strong winds may blow salt water from the sound into the canals and ditches that crisscross the county, which then leak into the soil. Another possibility is that the salt was left behind by storm-surge events and simply takes a long time to wash away.

Or maybe the problem goes even deeper. Scientists are increasingly concerned that rising sea levels are shifting the “zone of transition” — the underground gradient where fresh groundwater meets salty seawater. This issue may be compounded by the slow sinking of North Carolina’s coastal plain since the end of the last ice age about 12,000 years ago.
¶¶
A group of students returns from testing the water in a nearby ditch. “Two point seven,” they report — the liquid contains 2.7 grams of salt per thousand grams.

“That’s concerning,” Manda replies. Typical salinity levels for fresh water are below 0.5 parts per thousand.

The salinity of the ground­water — the fluid found in the cracks and spaces in the soil beneath their feet — is even higher. The researchers’ readings turn up numbers of five parts per thousand, six parts per thousand, nine parts per thousand — far above the recommended level for farming.

“The results are peculiar,” says Manda, who had expected to find that the salty water was coming from the ditch. If the ground­water is more saline than the canals, that suggests the salt is seeping up from below.

“From a science perspective, it’s fascinating,” Manda says — the unexpected results suggest the possibility of learning something new. “But from a farmer’s perspective, what can you do about it?”
by:SarahKaplan  from:TheWashingtonPost  ClimateChange  geo:NorthCarolina  geo:UnitedStates  salinity  farming  ClimateMigration 
march 2019 by owenblacker
A Green New Deal is fiscally responsible. Climate inaction is not.
An American article, but the same points apply here too.

While McConnell and other critics seem to think that they can defeat the Green New Deal by repeating a tired mantra – “we can’t afford to do it” – the real question is: how can we afford not to? Without bold action to tackle climate change, toxic pollution and economic and racial inequity, our society will only see rising fiscal burdens. A Green New Deal would not only help us avoid mounting costs – it also would stimulate broad-based demand in the economy by investing in real drivers of economic prosperity: workers and communities. That’s in stark contrast to the GOP’s expensive recent policy priority – the nearly $2tn tax cuts of 2018 – which did little more than enrich stateless mega-corporations and the wealthiest investors.
¶¶
While some people talk about the costs of climate change as far-off hypotheticals, there’s growing evidence that costs are already here. On 6 February, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA released findings that climate change impacts in 2018 directly resulted in 247 deaths and $91bn in damages. The longer-term fiscal implications are also becoming clearer. In November, 13 US federal agencies reported that, under current emissions trajectories, the US economy would bear more than $500bn per year in costs due to labor and agricultural losses, sea level rise and extreme weather impacts by the end of the century. This annual half-trillion-dollar burden didn’t account for many unpredictable second-order costs of climate change, like the implications of mass forced migrations driven by water scarcity and flooding. These are risks that the Pentagon has been highlighting for a decade.
¶¶
Justin Talbot-Zorn is the senior advisor for policy and strategy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Ben Beachy is the director of the Sierra Club’s Living Economy Program. Rhiana Gunn-Wright is the policy director for New Consensus.
by:JustinTalbotZorn  by:BenBeachy  by:RhianaGunn-Wright  from:CommentIsFree  GreenNewDeal  economics  ClimateChange  politics  geo:UnitedStates  MitchMcConnell 
february 2019 by owenblacker
Historian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant
The interview begins cordially, and Carlson congratulates Bregman on pointing out the hypocrisy of Davos attendees “who fly business to talk about global warming”. Bregman says he is just saying what most people in the world, including Fox News viewers, are thinking.

Things become tense when Bregman tells Carlson that Fox News has tended to ignore tax because “what the Murdochs want you to do is scapegoat immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance”.

Bregman then accuses Carlson of being bought by the Murdoch family and the Cato Institute, a rightwing thinktank of which Carlson was a fellow until 2015. Bregman says Tucker took the “dirty money” of the institute, which is funded in large part by the Koch brothers and opposes higher taxes.

He says Carlson is “a millionaire funded by billionaires” and “not part of the solution” but “part of the problem, actually”.

Bregman finishes by acknowledging that the interview probably wouldn’t be aired, but saying that he “went to Davos to speak truth to power and I’m doing exactly the same right now”.

Carlson, near-speechless for much of the interview, replies by saying: “Why don’t you go fuck yourself, you tiny brain. You’re a moron. I tried to give you a hearing but you were too fucking annoying.”
by:SamWolfson  from:TheGuardian  RutgerBregman  politics  geo:UnitedStates  tax  TaxAvoidance  immigration  propaganda  FoxNews  RupertMurdoch  TuckerCarlson 
february 2019 by owenblacker
How the US has hidden its empire
There aren’t many historical episodes more firmly lodged in the United States’s national memory than the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is one of only a few events that many people in the country can put a date to: 7 December 1941, the “date which will live in infamy,” as Franklin D Roosevelt put it. Hundreds of books have been written about it – the Library of Congress holds more than 350. And Hollywood has made movies, from the critically acclaimed From Here to Eternity, starring Burt Lancaster, to the critically derided Pearl Harbor, starring Ben Affleck.

But what those films don’t show is what happened next. Nine hours after Japan attacked the territory of Hawaii, another set of Japanese planes came into view over another US territory, the Philippines. As at Pearl Harbor, they dropped their bombs, hitting several air bases, to devastating effect.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was just that – an attack. Japan’s bombers struck, retreated and never returned. Not so in the Philippines. There, the initial air raids were followed by more raids, then by invasion and conquest. Sixteen million Filipinos – US nationals who saluted the stars and stripes and looked to FDR as their commander in chief – fell under a foreign power.
by:DanielImmerwahr  from:TheGuardian  imperialism  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Hawaiʻi  geo:Philippines  geo:PuertoRico  geo:Guam 
february 2019 by owenblacker
Why the attack on our cameraman was no surprise
I covered endless Trump rallies in the run-up to the election and since — and there is a pattern. The attacks on the media are hugely popular with his supporters. They are every bit as much a part of his "set" as Honky Tonk Woman and Satisfaction are part of a Rolling Stones concert. You just can't imagine it not happening.

If you've never been to a Trump rally let me describe what it's like.

At some rallies at the end of the election campaign there were police officers posted on the access points to each press riser (the platforms where our cameras are mounted towards the back of the venue); even if there were no police they were confined areas.

There was no security last night, and the attack on Ron was stopped by a Trump-supporting blogger. Law enforcement were slow to get involved.
by:JonSopel  from:BBCNOL  DonaldTrump  HateSpeech  violence  geo:UnitedStates 
february 2019 by owenblacker
Jeff Bezos 'blackmail' claim puts focus on National Enquirer links to Trump
But Pecker [chief exec of the Enquirer's publisher] is also close to Trump, and AMI has admitted in the past that it engaged in a practice known as “catch-and-kill” – suppressing potentially damaging stories – to help Trump become president. Trump has also waged a running war of words against Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, which he frequently denounces as part of the “fake news media”.

The White House remained silent on the matter but two more threads raised questions about a potential association. In a TV interview, a Post reporter claimed that Bezos’s camp believes the National Enquirer’s conduct might have been politically motivated and that a “government entity” might have got hold of his text messages, though which government might be involved was not indicated.
by:DavidSmith  from:TheGuardian  JeffBezos  DavidPecker  DonaldTrump  politics  geo:UnitedStates  blackmail  extortion  corruption 
february 2019 by owenblacker
Fightback against the billionaires: the radicals taking on the global elite
When Rutger Bregman and Winnie Byanyima spoke out about taxes at Davos they went viral. They talk with Winners Take All author Anand Giridharadas about why change is coming.
by:AnandGiridharadas  from:TheGuardian  AnandGiridharadas  RutgerBregman  WinnieByanyima  inequality  economics  politics  MargaretThatcher  RonaldReagan  geo:UnitedKingdom  geo:UnitedStates 
february 2019 by owenblacker
What Keeps the Spies Up at Night
This year’s “Worldwide Threat Assessment” — compiled by the country’s 17 intelligence agencies — is lengthy and growing: terrorism, climate change, hostile foreign powers, rising nationalism, illegal drugs, cyberattacks and organized crime. Those threats will “expand and diversify” in 2019, the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, told the Senate Intelligence Committee at a hearing on Tuesday.

Many critics were quick to note where the consensus judgments of the intelligence community differed with the statements and policies of the Trump administration.
¶¶
And while Mr. Trump and his populist fellow travelers may cheer chaos in the European Union, Brexit and the rise of nationalism across Europe, the report notes that those are also all major objectives of Russian foreign policy.
by:TheNewYorkTimes  from:TheNewYorkTimes  espionage  realpolitik  politics  geo:UnitedStates  geo:UnitedKingdom  geo:Russia 
january 2019 by owenblacker
For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain
“The public domain has been frozen in time for 20 years, and we’re reaching the 20-year thaw,” says Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. The release is unprecedented, and its impact on culture and creativity could be huge. We have never seen such a mass entry into the public domain in the digital age. The last one—in 1998, when 1922 slipped its copyright bond—predated Google. “We have shortchanged a generation,” said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive. “The 20th century is largely missing from the internet.”
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Even fierce advocates for copyright agree that, after 95 years, it is time to release these works. “There comes a point when a creative work belongs to history as much as to its author and her heirs,” said Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild.

We can blame Mickey Mouse for the long wait. In 1998, Disney was one of the loudest in a choir of corporate voices advocating for longer copyright protections. At the time, all works published before January 1, 1978, were entitled to copyright protection for 75 years; all author’s works published on or after that date were under copyright for the lifetime of the creator, plus 50 years. Steamboat Willie, featuring Mickey Mouse’s first appearance on screen, in 1928, was set to enter the public domain in 2004. At the urging of Disney and others, Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, named for the late singer, songwriter and California representative, adding 20 years to the copyright term. Mickey would be protected until 2024—and no copyrighted work would enter the public domain again until 2019, creating a bizarre 20-year hiatus between the release of works from 1922 and those from 1923.
by:GlennFleishman  from:  Smithsonian  copyright  PublicDomain  geo:UnitedStates  InternetArchive 
december 2018 by owenblacker
For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies
A really good piece. Very focussed on the US — and some of these points don't apply in quite the same way over here; we exported our genocides to other places like Ireland, India, Canada and Australia, for example — but worth reading nonetheless.

I pticly like this 4th point:

『 Please try not to, “I can’t believe that something like this would happen in this day and age!” your way into being an ally when atrocities like the events in Charleston, S.C., and Charlottesville, Va., happen. People of color have been aware of this kind of hatred and violence in America for centuries, and it belittles our experience for you to show up 300 years late to the oppression-party suddenly caring about the world. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome you. I want for you to come into a place of awareness. However, your shock and outrage at the existence of racism in America echoes the fact that you have lived an entire life with the luxury of indifference about the lives of marginalized/disenfranchised folks. Please take several seats. 』
by:CourtneyAriel  from:Sojourners  race  colonialism  HateSpeech  allyship  geo:UnitedStates 
november 2018 by owenblacker
Redrawing the Map: How the World’s Climate Zones Are Shifting
They found that since satellite records started in the late 1970s, the edges of the tropics have been moving at about 0.2–0.3 degrees of latitude per decade (in both the north and the south) .The change is already dramatic in some areas, Lu says — the average over 30 years is about a degree of latitude, or approximately 70 miles, but in some spots the dry expansion is larger. The result is that the boundary between where it’s getting wetter and where it’s getting drier is pushing farther north, making even countries as far north as Germany and Britain drier. Meanwhile, already dry Mediterranean countries are really feeling the change: In 2016, for example, the eastern Mediterranean region had its worst drought in 900 years. The last time the tropics expanded northward (from 1568 to 1634, due to natural climate fluctuations), droughts helped to trigger the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
by:NicolaJones  from:YaleE360  ClimateChange  geo:Tropics  geo:NearEast  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Africa  geo:Sahara 
november 2018 by owenblacker
Doctor for Early HIV/AIDS Patients Among Dead in Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting
On Saturday, anti-Semitic gunman Robert Bowers opened fire on attendees at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As names of those killed in the shooting were released throughout the weekend, people began to pay tribute to the 11 victims, including Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, a Pittsburgh-based doctor who helped treat patients living with HIV.

According to Michael Kerr, a New York City-based activist and member of ACT UP, Rabinowitz, 66, treated HIV-positive people prior to the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy, when few doctors were willing to even touch those living with HIV. Kerr wrote on his Facebook about Rabinowitz and what it was like to be in his care.

“Before there was effective treatment for fighting HIV itself, he was known in the community for keeping us alive the longest,” Kerr wrote. “He often held our hands (without rubber gloves) and always always hugged us as we left his office.”
by:MathewRodriguez  from:Into  QueerHistory  HIV/AIDS  geo:UnitedStates 
october 2018 by owenblacker
A Colony of Aliens
The United States has always needed new workers to contribute to its economy, but it hasn’t always wanted them to settle down, making their status fluctuate between indispensable resource and burden on the economy. From the enslavement of Africans that began in the 17th century to the recent fights between Silicon Valley companies and the US government over the H-1B work visa, which permits companies to temporarily hire foreign workers, the country has a long history of recruiting foreigners—by invitation or by force—to relocate here and contribute to its economic success. But it has rarely made those workers feel welcome once they arrive.
by:ManishaClaire  by:NathanGelgud  from:Topic  immigration  race  geo:UnitedStates 
october 2018 by owenblacker
We Are Not the Resistance
The disorienting nature of Trump’s presidency has already managed to obscure what should be an obvious fact: Viewed from the broad sweep of history, Donald Trump is the resistance. We are not.

Those of us who are committed to the radical evolution of American democracy are not merely resisting an unwanted reality. To the contrary, the struggle for human freedom and dignity extends back centuries and is likely to continue for generations to come. In the words of Vincent Harding, one of the great yet lesser-known heroes of the black freedom struggle, the long, continuous yearning and reaching toward freedom flows throughout history “like a river, sometimes powerful, tumultuous, and roiling with life; at other times meandering and turgid, covered with the ice and snow of seemingly endless winters, all too often streaked and running with blood.”

Harding was speaking about black movements for liberation in America, but the metaphor applies equally well to the global struggle for human dignity and freedom.
by:  MichelleAlexander  from:TheNewYorkTimes  politics  dissent  activism  geo:UnitedStates  DonaldTrump 
september 2018 by owenblacker
Brett Kavanaugh Is a Threat to Disabled People’s Rights
Kavanaugh’s record suggests he doesn’t recognize the inherent humanity and value of women like Weintraub and the disability community at large. One significant concern is Kavanaugh’s opinion in Doe v D.C., a case that involved three developmentally disabled women who received elective surgery without consent — two of the women had abortions, and another had eye surgery. Kavanaugh was tasked with determining whether the District of Columbia had violated its own policies and the women’s autonomy by proceeding with surgeries without consulting them.

He ruled no, claiming because they lacked legal capacity, their wishes didn’t need to be considered. This rings alarm bells for the disability community, which has faced a long history of forcible medical procedures including abortion and sterilization. It also has bigger implications for the discussion about disability and autonomy, especially in light of the movement to reform guardianship.
¶¶
Further, Kavanaugh hasn’t ruled favorably in a number of cases delving into issues like employment discrimination where he ruled against a disabled employee in a discrimination suit, and the right to education for the disability community, as in a 2007 case where he overturned a court order requiring the District of Columbia to provide education services to an incarcerated minor. As Senator Tammy Duckworth noted in an opinion editorial for Time, many in the disability community are worried about what this means for the future of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark legislation that has been used extremely successfully to defend civil rights for the disability community.
by:SESmith  from:Tonic  disability  politics  geo:UnitedStates 
september 2018 by owenblacker
How Puerto Rico Became a Tax Haven for the Super Rich
The party known as Cocktails and Compliance—so called for mixing alcohol with tax advice—was thrown on a Friday evening in May, in a warehouse turned art gallery in Old San Juan. The host had kept his guest list confidential: It contained the names of hundreds of ultra-wealthy mainland Americans who'd moved to Puerto Rico to avoid paying taxes, most of whom were reluctant to advertise that fact. More than 1,500 mainlanders have established residency here since 2012, when the island rebranded itself as a tax haven, and the annual Cocktails is at the center of their social calendar.

At a high table, polishing off a bourbon on the rocks, sat a compact man in his 60s wearing a black T-shirt and black suede loafers, no socks. This was Mark Gold, the Florida-born kingpin of traffic-ticket contesting. Gold has attended Cocktails and Compliance every year since moving to Puerto Rico in 2016. “I was looking at different tax havens,” he said, “Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco. But the problem is, you have to give up your U.S. passport. When I heard about this, it was too good to be true. But it's real. I live in paradise. I live at the Ritz-Carlton. I drive my golf cart to the beach club for breakfast. Then I go to my sunset yoga class on the beach.”
by:JesseBarron  from:GQ  geo:UnitedStates  TaxAvoidance  geo:PuertoRico 
september 2018 by owenblacker
Kavanaugh Will Kill the Constitution — The legitimacy of the Supreme Court is on the line.
At a fundamental level, the attempt to jam Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court closely resembles the way Republicans passed a tax cut last year. Once again we see a rushed, nakedly partisan process, with G.O.P. leaders withholding much of the information that’s supposed to go into congressional deliberations. Once again the outcome is all too likely to rest on pure tribalism: Unless some Republicans develop a very late case of conscience, they will vote along party lines with the full knowledge that they’re abdicating their constitutional duty to provide advice and consent.

True, Kavanaugh is at least getting a hearing, which the tax bill never did. But he’s bobbing and weaving his way through, refusing to answer even straightforward questions, displaying an evasiveness utterly at odds with the probity we used to expect of Supreme Court justices.

No, the real difference from the tax bill story is that last year we were talking only about a couple of trillion dollars. This year we’re talking about the future of the Republic. For a Kavanaugh confirmation will set us up for multiple constitutional crises.

After all, if Kavanaugh is confirmed, we will be trying to navigate a turbulent era in American politics with a Supreme Court in which two seats were effectively stolen. First Republicans refused even to give President Barack Obama’s nominee so much as a hearing; then they will have filled two positions with nominees chosen by a president who lost the popular vote and eked out an Electoral College win only with aid from a hostile foreign power.
by:PaulKrugman  from:TheNewYorkTimes  BrettKavanaugh  DonaldTrump  politics  geo:UnitedStates  SCOTUS  Republicans 
september 2018 by owenblacker
Colin Kaepernick becomes the face of Nike's Just Do It campaign
“We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” the Nike executive Gino Fisanotti told ESPN. “We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes.”
¶¶
Kaepernick and another former 49ers player, Eric Reid, have not been signed by any of the NFL’s 32 teams since their protests spread. Both have filed collusion grievances against NFL owners.

On Thursday, arbitrator Stephen Burbank denied the league’s request to dismiss the case, which means he found sufficient evidence for the case to continue and perhaps go to trial.
from:TheGuardian  ColinKaepernick  Nike  race  sport  geo:UnitedStates 
september 2018 by owenblacker
Permafrost May Thaw Far Faster Than Expected and Accelerate Climate Change
Every winter across the Arctic, the top few inches or feet of soil and rich plant matter freezes up before thawing again in summer. Beneath this active layer of ground extending hundreds of feet deeper sits continuously frozen earth called permafrost, which, in places, has stayed frozen for millennia.

But in a region where temperatures can dip to 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, the Zimovs say unusually high snowfall this year worked like a blanket, trapping excess heat in the ground. They found sections 30 inches deep—soils that typically freeze before Christmas—that had stayed damp and mushy all winter. For the first time in memory, ground that insulates deep Arctic permafrost simply did not freeze in winter.
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The discovery has not been peer-reviewed or published and represents limited data from one spot in one year. But with measurements from another scientist nearby and one an ocean away appearing to support the Zimovs' findings, some Arctic experts are weighing a troubling question: Could a thaw of permafrost begin decades sooner than many people expect in some of the Arctic's coldest, most carbon-rich regions, releasing trapped greenhouse gases that could accelerate human-caused climate change?

Already, three of the last four years have been earth's hottest on record, with 2018 on schedule to be number four. And the poles are actually warming far faster, with areas 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Norway reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit this July. If significant quantities of permafrost start thawing early, that would only make things worse.

"This is a big deal," says Ted Schuur, a permafrost expert at Northern Arizona University. "In the permafrost world, this is a significant milestone in a disturbing trend—like carbon in the atmosphere reaching 400 parts per million."
by:CraigWelch  from:NationalGeographic  permafrost  ClimateChange  geo:Siberia  geo:Russia  geo:Alaska  geo:UnitedStates  NikitaZimov  SergeyZimov  TedSchuur  MathiasGoeckede  VladimirRomanovsky 
august 2018 by owenblacker
Walter Hood: How urban spaces can preserve history and build community
Can public spaces both reclaim the past and embrace the future? Landscape architect Walter Hood has explored this question over the course of an iconic career, with projects ranging from Lafayette Square Park in San Francisco to the upcoming International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. In this inspiring talk packed with images of his work, Hood shares the five simple concepts that guide his approach to creating spaces that illuminate shared memories and force us to look at one another in a different way.
by:WalterHood  from:TED  urbanism  slavery  race  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Charleston_NC  geo:SanFrancisco  geo:NewYork  history 
august 2018 by owenblacker
It’s never their fault: why the Brexiteers love to cry betrayal
The notion of personal responsibility was once such a linchpin of conservative thinking that almost every riposte to liberal ideology ran through it. Whether the right was making the case for longer prison sentences or against the welfare state, the argument generally rested on the principle that we must stand by the consequences of our actions. To cite the context that shaped how a decision was made, insist on the parallel importance of collective responsibility, or expect the state to cushion the blow, were all signs of whiny weakness. To think otherwise revealed not just a flawed political philosophy but a lack of moral fortitude.
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This sense of victimhood and grievance provides some of the basis for the kinds of political realignments we are now witnessing. Recent research by Diana Mutz, a politics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has shown there was little relation between voting for Trump in 2016 and having lost a job or income, or the density of unemployment or manufacturing jobs where Trump voters lived. There was, however, a propensity to vote for Trump among those who felt that “their dominance as a group was under threat”.
by:GaryYounge  from:CommentIsFree  Brexit  DonaldTrump  geo:UnitedKingdom  geo:UnitedStates  politics 
july 2018 by owenblacker
How Policing in the U.S. and Security in Israel Are Connected
Along with their relationships around money and weapons, Israel and the U.S. share a history of deploying over-militarized policing practices. In America, that style of policing gained attention during the St. Louis police department’s response to the 2014 Ferguson uprising, which followed the death of Mike Brown. While it was jarring to watch local police officers wearing military equipment and armed with military-grade weapons, accompanying tanks rolling through local streets, and shooting teargas at distraught citizens, it was even more troubling when a Twitter user alleged that the gas canisters shot at Ferguson protesters were the same ones that had been fired at Palestinian protesters just days before, both made in the U.S.

Three years before the Ferguson protests, Tim Fitch — the chief of the very same St. Louis County Police Department responsible for firing teargas at activists and concerned citizens — had flown to Israel to receive training from Israeli police, intelligence, and military in a weeklong course on terrorism-focused policing.
by:LincolnAnthonyBlades  from:TeenVogue  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Ferguson_MO  geo:israel  terrorism  PoliceBrutality  police 
july 2018 by owenblacker
Opinion: Trump, Treasonous Traitor
Whether or not Trump himself or anyone in his orbit personally colluded or conspired with the Russians about their interference is something Mueller will no doubt disclose at some point, but there remains one incontrovertible truth: In 2016, Russia, a hostile foreign adversary, attacked the United States of America.

We know that they did it. We have proof. The F.B.I. is trying to hold people accountable for it.

And yet Trump, the president whom the Constitution establishes as the commander in chief, has repeatedly waffled on whether Russia conducted the attack and has refused to forcefully rebuke them for it, let alone punish them for it.
by:CharlesMBlow  from:TheNewYorkTimes  treason  politics  DonaldTrump  geo:UnitedStates 
july 2018 by owenblacker
Major broadcast TV networks mentioned climate change just once during two weeks of heat-wave coverage
Throughout the recent record-breaking heat wave that affected millions across the United States, major broadcast TV networks overwhelmingly failed to report on the links between climate change and extreme heat. Over a two-week period from late June to early July, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a combined 127 segments or weathercasts that discussed the heat wave, but only one segment, on CBS This Morning, mentioned climate change.
by:TedMacdonald  from:MediaMatters  ClimateChange  geo:UnitedStates  journalism 
july 2018 by owenblacker
The Messy Fourth Estate
At the end of the day, if journalistic ethics means anything, newsrooms cannot justify creating spectacle out of their reporting on suicide or other topics just because they feel pressure to create clicks. They have the privilege of choosing what to amplify, and they should focus on what is beneficial. If they can’t operate by those values, they don’t deserve our trust. While I strongly believe that technology companies have a lot of important work to do to be socially beneficial, I hold news organizations to a higher standard because of their own articulated commitments and expectations that they serve as the fourth estate. And if they can’t operationalize ethical practices, I fear the society that must be knitted together to self-govern is bound to fragment even further.
by:danahboyd  from:Medium  politics  journalism  geo:UnitedStates  society 
june 2018 by owenblacker
Against empathy for fascists
So I never thought I'd be logging back into a social media platform to write a thread best named summarized as "Against Empathy". But here we are.

I've noticed an uptick in people (especially liberal white women from wealthy/financially stable backgrounds) talking about how we need to rekindle, reawaken, rediscover....empathy.

They seem to honestly believe that a lack of empathy has gotten us to where we are, today.
by:KatherineCrocker  from:twitter  fascism  empathy  politics  geo:UnitedStates 
june 2018 by owenblacker
Donald Trump Has Been Lying to the American Public, and Journalists Need to Call Him Out
In order to avoid claims of bias, many members of the press are bending over backward to construct an outward appearance of being fair — but that’s not journalism.
by:LaurenDuca  from:TeenVogue  journalism  geo:UnitedStates  TheNewYorkTimes 
june 2018 by owenblacker
First Congress Took Sex Workers’ Websites. Now It's Coming For Their Bank Accounts.
Given the frequency with which sex trafficking and voluntary, consensual sex work are conflated, sex workers including webcam performers, adult film actors and business owners, strippers and escorts fear these efforts will hit them too.

“What a lot of organizers are worried about is how these broad anti-trafficking initiatives are often applied in a targeted manner that hurts more vulnerable people rather than helps them,” Liara Roux, a sex worker and producer of independent adult media, told HuffPost. “If this bill is passed in a climate where sex work is so stigmatized that no distinction is made between a trafficked individual and someone who is just trying to survive, you’re just as likely to see vulnerable people’s bank accounts closed as actual traffickers caught.”
by:JenavieveHatch  from:HuffPost  SexWork  trafficking  finance  geo:UnitedStates  ElizabethWarren  MarcRubio 
may 2018 by owenblacker
Federal officials lost – yes, lost – 1,475 migrant children
The Trump administration recently announced a new, get-tough policy that will separate parents from their children if the family is caught crossing the border illegally.

It was a big news story. So big it overshadowed the fact that the federal government has lost – yes, lost – 1,475 migrant children in its custody.
¶¶
A documentary from the PBS program "Frontline" said that the federal government has actually released some of the minors to human traffickers. …

And now we want to dramatically ramp up the number of children who are removed from their parents?
by:EJMontini  from:Arizona  immigration  ICE  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Arizona  trafficking  slavery  ChildAbuse  children 
may 2018 by owenblacker
Congress' Latest Move to Extend Copyright Protection Is Misguided
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not convinced that Congress was addicted to term extensions. The most recent extension, the Court remarked, simply harmonized the term internationally. After the 1998 extension, there was no reason, the Court believed, to think that Congress would need to extend terms anymore. After all, with a term of 95 years for work created before 1976, and life of the author plus 70 years for work beginning in 1976, how much more time could possibly be needed?

Twenty years later, the fight for term extension has begun anew.
¶¶
When a creative work is a century old, Congress should let it pass into the public domain. But at the very least, if Congress is so eager to give gifts to famous creators, it should require that the beneficiary at least record their claim in advance, in a public and searchable archive, so it is simple to know which rights must be cleared and how.

Either way, it is finally clear that the Supreme Court’s prediction that the copyright owners would be satisfied with the copyright protection provided by the Sonny Bono Act turns out not to be true.
by:LawrenceLessig  from:Wired  copyright  TermExtension  geo:UnitedStates 
may 2018 by owenblacker
Author Lawrence Wright & former FBI agent Ali Soufan on ‘The Looming Tower’ — The Business — Overcast
‘The Looming Tower’ on Hulu follows FBI agent Ali Soufan as he tries to prevent an Al Qaeda attack on U.S. soil. The real Soufan says watching an actor play him has been weird, but could have an important payoff: teaching people what led to 9/11 and preventing another attack. Soufan and ‘The Looming Tower’ author Lawrence Wright tell us how they adapted the complicated story for TV.
AliSoufan  LawrenceWright  CIA  FBI  terrorism  geo:UnitedStates  geo:SaudiArabia  geo:Afghanistan 
may 2018 by owenblacker
CDC to roll back data collection on the health and well-being of LGBT people
“The CDC’s announcement appears to be part of an alarming trend within the federal government aimed at limiting our knowledge about LGBT people, despite the fact that these data are vital to policy making and designing evidence-based interventions to improve health and well-being,” said Adam P. Romero, the Williams Institute’s Director of Federal Policy.

“Importantly, the BRFSS provided the first representative snapshot of transgender adult health and socioeconomic status. These data showed us that transgender people are indeed at higher risk of poverty — confirming what smaller studies conducted in HIV epicenters had observed,” said Conron.
from:UCLA  geo:UnitedStates  DonaldTrump  homophobia  fascism  HIV/AIDS  CDC  LGBTQ 
may 2018 by owenblacker
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