“According to local police and local media, one of the six Mexican citizens requested an ambulance following a dispute with a supervisor — but not for an emergency. The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) was then called in, and the men were transported away from the construction site to commence deportation proceedings. However, what has not been reported by local media and Huron’s local sheriff is that no one spoke to the immigrants in Spanish about why the emergency call was placed, even though authorities acknowledge that the six men do not speak English. CBP spokesperson Kris Krogan told The Huffington Post that there were language complications with the original 911 call. And when Huron County sheriff’s deputy was unable to communicate with the men on site, he called the border patrol for “translation purposes.””—
I’ve been tweeting all morning about #rapeculture & #abuseculture, and someone asked me what I meant when I referred to Strong People Myths. I think some/most of us are familiar with the Strong Black Woman Trope right? Right. For those that are unfamiliar with it, it can best be…
If someone is defending themselves or their own from hateful, violent and dangerous bigots then doxing, responding with violence (even physical violence), getting a hateful fuckhead fired or cut down from their business, burning their reputation, etc is not sinking to their level.
“I guess some of this mad right-wing love comes from the idea that in America, anyone can become a Rich Guy if he just works hard and saves his pennies. Mitt Romney has said, in effect, “I’m rich and I don’t apologize for it.” Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-f—king-American, is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Gov. Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.”—Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake! - The Daily Beast (via ronmarks)
Mansplaining isn’t just the act of explaining while male, of course; many men manage to explain things every day without in the least insulting their listeners.
Mansplaining is when a dude tells you, a woman, how to do something you already know how to do, or how you are wrong about something you are actually right about, or miscellaneous and inaccurate “facts” about something you know a hell of a lot more about than he does.
Bonus points if he is explaining how you are wrong about something being sexist!
Think about the men you know. Do any of them display that delightful mixture of privilege and ignorance that leads to condescending, inaccurate explanations, delivered with the rock-solid conviction of rightness and that slimy certainty that of course he is right, because he is the man in this conversation?
(Nuns) were the first feminists, earning Ph.D.’s or working as surgeons long before it was fashionable for women to hold jobs. As managers of hospitals, schools and complex bureaucracies, they were the first female C.E.O.’s.
They are also among the bravest, toughest and most admirable people in the world. In my travels, I’ve seen heroic nuns defy warlords, pimps and bandits. Even as bishops have disgraced the church by covering up the rape of children, nuns have redeemed it with their humble work on behalf of the neediest.
So, Pope Benedict, all I can say is: You are crazy to mess with nuns.
The Vatican issued a stinging reprimand of American nuns this month and ordered a bishop to oversee a makeover of the organization that represents 80 percent of them. In effect, the Vatican accused the nuns of worrying too much about the poor and not enough about abortion and gay marriage.
What Bible did that come from? Jesus in the Gospels repeatedly talks about poverty and social justice, yet never explicitly mentions either abortion or homosexuality. If you look at who has more closely emulated Jesus’s life, Pope Benedict or your average nun, it’s the nun hands down.
Since the papal crackdown on nuns, they have received an outpouring of support. “Nuns were approached by Catholics at Sunday liturgies across the country with a simple question: ‘What can we do to help?’ ” The National Catholic Reporter recounted. It cited one parish where a declaration of support for nuns from the pulpit drew loud applause, and another that was filled with shouts like, “You go, girl!”
At least four petition drives are under way to support the nuns. One on Change.org has gathered 15,000 signatures. The headline for this column comes from an essay by Mary E. Hunt, a Catholic theologian who is developing a proposal for Catholics to redirect some contributions from local parishes to nuns.
“How dare they go after 57,000 dedicated women whose median age is well over 70 and who work tirelessly for a more just world?” Hunt wrote. “How dare the very men who preside over a church in utter disgrace due to sexual misconduct and cover-ups by bishops try to distract from their own problems by creating new ones for women religious?”
Sister Joan Chittister, a prominent Benedictine nun, said she had worried at first that nuns spend so much time with the poor that they would have no allies. She added that the flood of support had left her breathless.
“It’s stunningly wonderful,” she said. “You see generations of laypeople who know where the sisters are — in the streets, in the soup kitchens, anywhere where there’s pain. They’re with the dying, with the sick, and people know it.”
“Not being assaulted is not a privilege to be earned through the judicious application of personal safety strategies. A woman should be able to walk down the street at 4 in the morning in nothing but her socks, blind drunk, without being assaulted, and I, for one, am not going to do anything to imply that she is in any way responsible for her own assault if she fails to Adequately Protect Herself. Men aren’t helpless dick-driven maniacs who can’t help raping a vulnerable woman. It disrespects EVERYONE.”—
Emily Nagoski. no idea who she is, but i thank her. there is no excuse for rape and anyone who excuses it is insulting both the victim and the rapist. (via rapeisnotajoke)
There are two arguments I’ve noticed
“Women should prepare themselves better if they don’t want to get raped”
ALL MEN AREN’T RAPISTS/Its not fair that women accuse me of being a rapist/i get called creepy all the time
So basically we have to prepare ourselves all the time, but if we ever give a man the sense that we view them as a misogynistic/violent threat - that’s unfair
Marissa Alexander is another victim of Florida’s infamous Stand Your Ground law, proving that Florida statute 776.013 is not for battered women or people who won’t shoot to kill. When attacked by her husband in her home, with an order of protection in place, Marissa Alexander shot into the ceiling, instead of into his body, to scare him away. She is now sitting in a jail cell, awaiting sentencing for assault with a deadly weapon.
Ms. Alexander is black and a mother of three. She had given birth nine days earlier to a premature infant, allegedly as a result of battering during her pregnancy. She is a licensed gun owner, with concealed carry permit. She was in her own home. Her husband had a documented history of domestic violence. She reasonably believed that her life was in danger and her husband was violating an order of protection.
“The killing of U.S. troops by their ostensible allies in the Afghan military now make up 20 percent of all the U.S. combat deaths this year. Somehow, though, we never hear that the Afghan soldier who turns his gun on a U.S. soldier has “snapped” – that maybe he has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that maybe he was so enraged because he saw his baby daughter killed in a drone strike the night before and he lost control. No, we only hear that “the Taliban must have infiltrated” the Afghan army or police. PTSD is apparently only for trained soldiers on our side. Except that in a 2009 UN-backed survey, the Afghan government’s own Ministry of Health estimated that 66 percent – a full two-thirds – of the Afghan population, suffers from a variety of mental illnesses, most of them stress-related and including PTSD.”—
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”—John Kenneth Galbraith (via juliaudacious)
“You won’t allow me to go to school.
I won’t become a doctor.
One day you will be sick.”—
Poem written by an 11 year old Afghan girl
This poem was recorded in a NYT magazine article about female underground poetry groups in Afghanistan. An amazing article about the ways in which women are using a traditional two line poetry form to express their resistance to male oppression, their feelings about love (considered blasphemous), and their doubts about religion.
“It’s been tough on some level to get myself to where I wanted to be or where I needed to be as a black man in this country….You feel like you’re always fighting for something or trying to run away from something or people’s attitudes towards you. That can wear you down to the point of always making bad decisions.”—Rodney King (via cheatsheet)
For months, Chen Guangcheng, one of China’s best-known dissidents, played a cat-and-mouse game with the phalanx of guards encircling his home. He dug a tunnel to try to escape, a friend says, but was found out. And he sneaked out a video that alerted his supporters to the beatings he said he and his wife suffered at the hands of the men who kept them virtual prisoners in their rural farmhouse.
Then last Sunday night, in an improbable escape, Mr. Chen, who is blind and reportedly weak from months of mistreatment, scaled the wall that has been built around his house, slipped past his security detail and made a desperate sprint to apparent safety in Beijing. The daring rush for freedom could not have been possible without a small network of activists who risked detention to help him and who, supporters with knowledge of the escape said, used coded messages to communicate and elude a surveillance apparatus that is one of the world’s most pervasive.
By Saturday, three activists had disappeared, including the woman who drove Mr. Chen 300 miles to Beijing and a man who admitted to meeting the dissident as he was shuttled between safe houses in the capital. The man’s wife said he was taken away by the police.
Friends of Mr. Chen, along with people in the Chinese government, say he is now inside the American Embassy in Beijing. If true, that creates diplomatic headaches for the United States just days before Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other American officials arrive for annual talks.
That the underground network of activists was able to help Mr. Chen evade his captors and move around the capital undetected for days has undoubtedly shaken Chinese leaders, who have become increasingly determined to suppress dissent through technology and brute force. Friends say his escape was so well executed that local officials did not realize until Thursday that he was gone.
After filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Richmond Police Department for police training documents, Mo Karn received much more than expected in return: homeland security and crowd control guides that show how the police target protests.
The documents, however, have already been published online. And buried in the training guides are insights into three trends in law enforcement that have been occurring not just in Virginia, but nationally: the demonization of protest, the militarization of police, and turning local cops into “terrorism” officials.
“There’s a passage that I love in Romans 1 - I don’t love what the topic is - but it talks about homosexuality and it says that they will receive in their bodies the penalties of their behavior. And the Bible again, it’s right every time, and studies keep proving that and that’s why AIDS has…
“I’m so fucking sick of people being all offended at fatness. I am sick of people expecting fat people to hide themselves away out of public sight, never being seen at the shops, at the gym, in the workplace, on the street. I’ve had enough of people complaining that they saw someone’s fat arse, arms, belly, thighs, whatever. I’m tired of being told that fat people should cover our bodies, wear dark, minimising, flattering clothing. That we shouldn’t be seen in leggings, tights, sleeveless tops, short shirts, tight jeans, swimsuits and short skirts. I’m sick of fat people being told they should starve themselves, never eat. I’m royally fucking fed up with being expected to hide myself away like I’m something to be ashamed of. I’m over being hated simply because I exist in a fat body.”—
“The reality is that fat people are often supported in hating their bodies, in starving themselves, in engaging in unsafe exercise, and in seeking out weight loss by any means necessary. A thin person who does these things is considered mentally ill. A fat person who does these things is redeemed by them. This is why our culture has no concept of a fat person who also has an eating disorder. If you’re fat, it’s not an eating disorder — it’s a lifestyle change.”—
“This is a pretty common perception of White Identity that should definitely be talked about more. Nobody wants to be left out of shit, but the fact that Whites literally cannot handle it (while other races put up with it day-in/day-out) and feel personally attacked when excluded from Non-White safe-spots tells you 1. how rarely White people experience someone excluding them based on skin color and 2. how completely White culture has failed to provide tools for sharing space, instead teaching Whites that all space is White space (“because all space is space for everyone”, a perception Whites share with no one).”—
“A 911 operator who worked for Vancouver Police when sex workers were disappearing from the Downtown Eastside says, her superiors repeatedly told her they weren’t going to spend valuable time and money looking for hookers.”—
It is Obama’s actions, not his words, that I tend to disagree with. One of my perennial struggles with Obama is that he often makes eloquent, well-spoken oral defenses of politically progressive policy positions which I find both articulate and moving. But in more cases than not, he proceeds to…
There are two very large and influential prison companies in the United States who are manipulating the system to make sure they have plenty of business: The GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut) and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). In the first part of this two-part series, I will explore The GEO Group’s influence peddling; next week, I will look at CCA.
If you have any doubt in your mind that improving society and lowering the number of prisoners in our country (normally considered a worthy social goal) is a threat to the prison industry business, all you need to do is to read about that concern in The GEO Group’s 2011 annual report:
In particular, the demand for our correctional and detention facilities and services and BI’s [a prison industry company Geo acquired in 2011] services could be adversely affected by changes in existing criminal or immigration laws, crime rates in jurisdictions in which we operate, the relaxation of criminal or immigration enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction, sentencing or deportation practices, and the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by criminal laws or the loosening of immigration laws. For example, any changes with respect to the decriminalization of drugs and controlled substances could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, sentenced and incarcerated, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. Similarly, reductions in crime rates could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences requiring incarceration at correctional facilities. Immigration reform laws which are currently a focus for legislators and politicians at the federal, state and local level also could materially adversely impact us.
This is an industry that needs misery, long sentences, rounded-up undocumented immigrants and increasing crime to flourish. In order to keep the prison beds filled, The GEO Group and others have paid out millions of dollars to lobbyists, federal and state legislators, and governors to allow our immigration problem to go unsolved, to make sure that no drugs are decriminalized and that an ineffective War on Drugs continues, and to make certain that long term prison sentences, like California’s three-strikes-and-you’re-imprisoned-for-life laws, keep a steady flow of revenue and profits flowing to their shareholders. They are also hoping that our national drop in crime is just a temporary trend.
“Oppressors always expect the oppressed to extend to them the understanding so lacking in themselves.”—Audre Lorde, ‘Sexism: An American Disease in Blackface’, in Sister/Outsider, p. 63. (via feministquotes)
“The U.S. House of Representatives passed a reprehensible cyber-security bill that seeks to protect online companies—giant social media firms to data-sharing networks controlling utilities—from cyber attack. It is reprehensible because, as Democratic San Jose Rep. Zoe Lofgren said this week, it gives the federal government too much access to the private lives of every Internet user. Or as Libertarian Rep. Ron Paul also bluntly put it, it turns Facebook and Google into “government spies.””—Facebook and Google Turned Into Government Spies? The Dangerous New Law Passed Congress (CISPA)
“If a group of people comes to you and says, “This thing that you are doing is hurting us,” and you keep doing it for fun, then you are a dickweed! Like, you know we had an actual genocide here, right? A deliberate extermination of human beings? Right where your house is? So maybe just err on the side of sensitivity.”—
The Colorado Plateau of New Mexico still bears the unhealed sores of the Uranium Boom of the last century – radioactive waste piles, contaminated water and hundreds of mines on Navajo land abandoned by companies looking to make a quick profit. Despite the massive contamination, companies want to start a new era of mining in this region.
I know this because I am Diné (Navajo) and live in Church Rock, New Mexico - only yards away from a proposed new uranium mine. As a resident and former miner, I have experienced the effects of uranium exploitation first-hand. Many of my relatives and neighbors, including myself, have suffered health problems due to working at or living near the mines. In fact, one study has found that cancer rates among Navajo living near mine tailings are 17 times higher than the national average.
Knowing the inherent risks of this industry, I am concerned about the long-term effects and threats to the safety and health of our people, our water, and local plants and animals. An elementary school sits near the proposed uranium processing plant and I am concerned about the safety of my community.
“When I say what I’d like to see happening amongst black young people I’d like to see them stop blaming themselves for the set of circumstances in which they find themselves in. One of the things I really dislike is when black young people will say, “Well if we were more motivated or if we listened better in class”… I’ve just encountered so many privileged young white people who don’t do that to themselves. Who get high and come to class and become supreme court justices. Because they have the sense that they have the right as young people to fail sometimes, to be experimental, to be young, to move through the world. So I mean I think that’s part of it. I hate how much we police black young people and encourage black young people to police themselves.”—Melissa Harris-Perry
“Obama is not some hapless victim whose actions on this issue are constrained by congressional law. The truth is pretty much the exact opposite. Under current law Obama effectively has the power to unilaterally make medical marijuana legal. Obama is not legally forced to wage a war on medical marijuana; it is something his administration is actively choosing to do.”—Obama Lies About Federal Marijuana Law to Rolling Stone (via socialuprooting)
The nation’s largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America, is on a buying spree. With a war chest of $250 million, the corporation, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, this month sent letters to 48 states, offering to buy their prisons outright. To ensure their profitability, the corporation insists that it be guaranteed that the prisons be kept at least 90 percent full. Plus, the corporate jailers demand a 20-year management contract, on top of the profits they expect to extract by spending less money per prisoner.
For the last two years, the number of inmates held in state prisons has declined slightly, largely because the states are short on money. Crime, of course, has declined dramatically in the last 20 years, but that has never dampened the states’ appetites for warehousing ever more Black and brown bodies, and the federal prison system is still growing. However, the Corrections Corporation of America believes the economic crisis has created an historic opportunity to become the landlord, as well as the manager, of a big chunk of the American prison gulag.
American Holocaust: The Destruction of America’s Native Peoples, a lecture by David Stannard, professor and chair of the American Studies Department at the University of Hawaii. Stannard, author of American Holocaust, asserts that the European and white American destruction of the native peoples of the Americas was the most substantial act of genocide in world history.
A combination of atrocities and imported plagues resulted in the death of roughly 95 percent of the native population in the Americas. Stannard argues that the perpetrators of the American Holocaust operated from the same ideological source as the architects of the Nazi Holocaust. That ideology remains alive today in American foreign policy, Stannard avers.
The 31st Annual Vanderbilt University Holocaust Lecture Series, the longest continuous Holocaust lecture series at an American university, takes the theme this year of (over) Sites of Memory and examines places that are infused with memories of genocide and the challenge to find effective ways to honor these memories.
A transgender Russian woman is preparing to return to Russia after the Swedish government failed to grant her asylum. The woman who is identified as Lita, says that because Russia doesn’t protect transgender citizens she “faces a constant fear of arrest and potential imprisonment in a male prison – or mental institution – should she return.”
According to PinkNews.co.uk:
“This is borne out by documents seen by PinkNews.co.uk, which suggest that the Swedish Migration Board, responsible for hearing asylum applications, initially debated her case in terms of whether her ‘orientation’ – as opposed to her trans status – was likely to cause her problems. This contributed to a decision that she could happily return to Russia with her partner, where they would be able to live out their lives as a gay couple ‘in stealth’.
“Adding insult to injury, according to Lita, in hearing her case, the Board also frequently mis-gendered her, referring to her as “he” (“han” in Swedish).”
Lita has faced trouble her whole life because of her gender identity, but the worst persecution she faced in Russia was when she was stopped by police. The police made her strip, beat her, and urinated on her. To find out more about this case head on over to PinkNews.co.uk.
This just in: Sweden is still a giant hateful bag of dicks despite popular opinion in the west.
Catch Kevin Wu’s latest comedy program on YouTube, and you might think he’s nothing more than a young Asian American talking to a camera in his bedroom. But almost each of his shows command at least 2 million views — rivaling the nightly TV audiences of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
A disproportionate share of YouTube’s top personalities are minorities, a striking contrast to the most popular shows on mainstream television, where the stars are largely white. These minority-produced, home-grown shows are drawing massive audiences — the top one has 5.2 million subscribers — enough to attract the attention of major advertisers.
“A lot of U.S. marketers are leaving minority audiences on the table,” said Seneca Mudd, the director of industry initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. “Advertisers would ignore that trend at their own peril.”
Among the 20 most-subscribed-to channels on YouTube, eight feature minorities. Most are Asian American. .. Nearly 80 percent of minorities regularly watch online videos, compared with less than 70 percent of whites, the Pew Internet & American Life Project says.
Wu, who ranks 11th among YouTube channels, said he does not intentionally target Asian American issues. But those viewers more easily understand his jokes on dating, stereotypes and the generational clash between parents and kids, he said. “I just tell my stories honestly, and usually Asian Americans will relate to me because they say, ‘That’s how I am and with my parents,’ ” he said.
For minorities, the medium offers a way to push back against stereotypes on network television, said Maureen Guthman, the head of brand strategy and acquisitions for the African American-focused channel TV One. Blacks can present themselves “completely unfiltered and without [someone] telling us, ‘You’ve got to be more this’ or ‘You’ve got to be more that,’ ” she said.
Late last year The BRAD BLOG reported in detail on the Interim Board of Elections (two Republicans, one Democrat) in Venango County, PA, who bucked their own County Commissioners and legal threats from ES&S, the nation’s largest e-voting company, to have their 100%…