Netflix Blacks Out the Revolution

Netflix Blacks Out the Revolution

Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:05

By Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks, The Daily Take | Op-Ed


You might want to think twice about streaming that “subversive” documentary about the Weather Underground on Netflix. If Republicans have their way, you just might end up on a watch list somewhere.

This week, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the 1988 Video Protection Privacy Act, which forbids movie rental companies from sharing or selling their customers’ viewing history. The Senate is expected to take up the amendment soon.

If this passes, what you watch on Netflix may soon become public information that your friends, employers, and even the government will have access to. Are you regretting streaming the latest Harold and Kumar yet?  Or all those soft-porn chick-flicks?

Netflix favors the law change because it will help them branch into social media and connect Facebook customers to each other based on their similar tastes in films. Unmentioned by Netflix is the enormous profit-potential in selling your viewing history to advertisers who can target specific demographics based on your preference in movies. Also unmentioned by Netflix is just who else might get this information once it’s taken out of the privacy lockbox.

The current version of the amendment does include a provision requiring Netflix to get their customers’ consent before sharing their viewing history. That’s helpful to those of us who are aware of the online threats to our privacy. But the vast majority of Americans, especially younger generations of Americans, are completely unaware that their privacy is in danger when they plug into the Internet. And it’ll probably end up being part of those notorious “terms and conditions” that you check the “I agree” box for, just to get onto the site.

via Netflix Blacks Out the Revolution.

Slow-Rolling Massacre Unfolds in the Shadow of Shocking High-Profile Shooting Sprees

See on Scoop.itOUR COMMON GROUND News Board •● ☥●• The Third Eye Parenthesis

What happened in Newtown isn’t supposed to happen anywhere.

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

Slow-Rolling Massacre Unfolds in the Shadow of Shocking High-Profile Shooting SpreesThursday, 20 December 2012 09:16By Dina Rasor, Truthout | Solutions 

Please support Truthout’s work by making a tax-deductible donation: click here to contribute.


A personal perspective about a nation’s shock and grief over a horrific act in a place where such things "aren’t supposed to happen," and the places where similar tragedies occur almost every day, where children grow up in a relentless tide of violence.

My heart is torn by the unspeakable violence to the people in Newtown Connecticut. The son of one of my dearest friends is a clergyman in that town and he is spending day and night ministering to the townspeople while his own children are shaken to the core. I grew up in towns like Newtown, mainly Lexington, Massachusetts and Kettering, Ohio, with beautiful homes and picturesque town centers. They were places that invested in education and their children because they had the tax base, educated parents and wealth to do so. My parents gave me a great start and by the time I started college in California in 1974, I could have tested out of freshman English but decided to take the easy As.

These towns were also so homogenous that by the time I reached California to attend the University of California at Berkeley, I think that I had only slightly known two or three African Americans, one or two Asians and no Hispanics by the time I was 18. That drastically changed by living near San Francisco and living a stint on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC after I graduated from Berkeley. I came back to Berkeley several years later for my husband to go to graduate school and chose to live in El Cerrito, California, a town that is about the size of Newtown but much less rural. We have a high school with a great football and debate team, a marching band and a homecoming float-parade down the main street every year.


See on

Domestic Abuse Survivor Goldie Taylor on Giving Up Her Gun and the Unseen Plague of National Violence

Domestic Abuse Survivor Goldie Taylor on Giving Up Her Gun and the Unseen Plague of National Violence

Friday, 21 December 2012 10:48

OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, Goldie Taylor

By Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! | Interview and Video

Truthout combats corporatization by bringing you trustworthy news: click here to join the effort.

After losing both her father and her brother to gun violence in St. Louis and later being victimized by domestic violence, Goldie Taylor purchased a gun for her own protection. On Monday, three days after the Newtown massacre, Taylor wrote: “After my father and brother were murdered, owning a gun made me feel secure. Now it’s time to give it up.” As President Obama vows new action on gun control, Taylor joins us to discuss her own case and the gun violence from Newtown, Connecticut, to the streets of Chicago, where nearly 500 people have been murdered this year, mostly by guns. Taylor, an MSNBC contributor and managing editor of “The Goldie Taylor Project,” calls on the corporate media to do a better job reporting all gun-related killings, regardless of race, economic class and gender.


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Funerals continue in Newtown, Connecticut, after Friday’s shooting rampage that left 20 students and six staff members dead at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Four more children were laid to rest Wednesday, as well as the principal of the school, Dawn Hochsprung, and teacher Victoria Soto. Soto died while shielding her students from gunfire. She was remembered by a friend after her memorial service.

CONNIE DELOTTINVILLE: She was one of the most beautiful people, like the really super popular person, but she was friendly with everyone, like she did not have a mean bone in her body, always smiling and laughing, and you could hear her down the hallway. She was a great person. So, this is just such a tragic loss. And we were going to have our 10-year high school reunion next year, and I was really looking forward to seeing her and seeing everyone again. And quite the damper on things.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Meanwhile, President Obama announced Wednesday he would appoint a new White House-led effort, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, to reform gun control policies, which he would outline in his annual State of the Union address next month.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence doesn’t mean we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence. That’s why I’ve asked the vice president to lead an effort that includes members of my cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January, proposals that I then intend to push without delay. This is not some Washington commission. This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. This is a team that has a very specific task: to pull together real reforms right now.

via Domestic Abuse Survivor Goldie Taylor on Giving Up Her Gun and the Unseen Plague of National Violence.

Women Prisoners Endure Rampant Sexual Violence; Current Laws Not Sufficient

Women Prisoners Endure Rampant Sexual Violence; Current Laws Not Sufficient

Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00

By Eleanor J Bader, Truthout | Report

Mary Thompson at the California Institution for Women in Corona, California, in July 2009. (Photo: Monica Almeida / The New York Times)

Do you

Allowing male guards to oversee female prisoners is a recipe for trouble, says former political prisoner Laura Whitehorn. Now a frequent lecturer on incarceration policies and social justice, Whitehorn describes a culture in which women are stripped of their power on the most basic level. “Having male guards sends a message that female prisoners have no right to defend their bodies,” she begins. “Putting women under men in authority makes the power imbalance as stark as it can be, and results in long-lasting repercussions post- release.”

Abuse, of course, can take many forms, from the flagrant – outright rape, groping, invasive pat-downs and peeping during showers or while an inmate is on the toilet – to verbal taunts or harassing comments. And while advocates for the incarcerated have long tried to draw attention to these conditions, they’ve made little to no headway. But that may be changing thanks to the promulgation of rules, finalized in June, to stem the overt sexual abuse of prisoners. The nine-years-in-the-making Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is the first law in US history to address the sexual abuse of those in lock-up, and its passage made clear that the sexual abuse of the incarcerated – men and women – is a pervasive problem in prisons throughout the 50 states. But let’s hold off on PREA for a minute and first zero in on the reality of female incarceration more generally.

According to The Sentencing Project, between 1980 and 2010, the number of incarcerated women ballooned by 646 percent, from 15,118 to 112,797; most were convicted of nonviolent offenses. Add in females who are incarcerated in local jails and the number increases to approximately 205,000. In addition, more than 712,000 women are presently on probation, and another more than 103,000 are on parole.

Prisoners’ rights activists note that, more often than not, these women enter the criminal justice system with long histories of domestic and other abuse. Indeed, a 2007 study by The American Civil Liberties Union found that 92 percent of California’s female prisoners had been abused in some way prior to being taken into custody.

via Women Prisoners Endure Rampant Sexual Violence; Current Laws Not Sufficient.


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Gifted Students Have ‘Special Needs,’ Too – Chester E. Finn Jr. – The Atlantic

2 DEC 22 2012, 9:00 AM ET 3

It’s not elitist to pour more resources into educating our brightest kids. In fact, the future of the country may depend on it.

A high school senior paints a portrait at the School for Talented and Gifted in Dallas. (Reuters)

Are our national education-reform priorities cheating America’s intellectually ablest girls and boys? Yes — and the consequence is a human capital catastrophe for the United States. It’s not as dramatic or abrupt as the fiscal cliff. But if we fail to pay attention, one day we’ll be very sorry.

In a recent New York Times column, I explained how America could benefit from more schools and classes geared toward motivated, high-potential students. Here, I want to look more deeply at why such initiatives are unfashionable, even taboo, among today’s education reformers.

We’d like to believe that every teacher can do right by every child in each classroom. But let’s be serious: how many of our 3 million-plus teachers are up to this challenge? The typical class is profoundly diverse in ability, motivation, and prior attainment. In most cases, instructors — under added pressure from state and federal accountability regimes — end up focusing on pupils below the “proficient” line, at the expense of their high achievers.

You don’t have to search hard for evidence that teachers and school systems are neglecting them. Take, for instance, our longstanding failure to get more than a few percent of U.S. students scoring at or above the National Assessment’s “advanced” level — in any subject or grade level. Study the data showing how far our students’ scores lag behind those of many competitor countries. Consider the ongoing need of high-tech employers to import highly educated personnel from abroad.

Then look at the unmet demand for “gifted and talented” schools and classrooms (and teachers suited to them). For many years, Washington’s only sign of interest in this portion of the K-12 universe was the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program. Since 2004, however, Congress has steadily decreased funding for the program; last year, that contribution dropped to $0. And despite plenty of evidence that America is failing to nurture its gifted students, the problem fails to awaken much interest from education leaders and philanthropists. Why is this so?

Consider these possible explanations.

via Gifted Students Have ‘Special Needs,’ Too – Chester E. Finn Jr. – The Atlantic.

“Out of Our Right Minds – Trauma, Depression and the Black Woman” l Docufilm l Stacey Muhammad


Out of Our Right Minds – Trauma, Depression and the Black Woman

A short docu film from Award Winning Independent Filmmaker, Stacey M. of Wildseed Films / Intelligent Media Group.

OUT OF OUR RIGHT MINDS, Trauma, Depression and the Black Woman from INTELLIGENT MEDIA GROUP on Vimeo.

This film explores Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and and the experience of trauma, and how the lives of Black women have been affected by these experiences.

Black women and men from all walks of life, speak openly and candidly about depression, mental illness, anxiety, stress…why these discussions are considered taboo in the African American community..and ways in which we begin to … and continue to … heal the wounds.

Dir. by Stacey Muhammad
Asst. Dir. RH Bless
Narrated by: Wise Intelligent
Edited by: Stacey Muhammad
Music by: T. Taylor, Mr. Famous & Masada
Marketing and Promotions: C. Wharton

For more information about booking Wildseed Films / Stacey M. for screenings / lectures / panels, etc. please contact Intelligent Media @ 484-472-3745.

Black Feminist Intellectual: A Conversation with Professor Imani Perry l Darnell L. Moore l The Feminist Wire

Black Feminist Intellectual: A Conversation with Professor Imani Perry

December 20, 2012


DM: At present, you hold a primary appointment as a Professor within the Center for African American Studies and a secondary appointment in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University. You hold a Ph.D. (Harvard University) and J.D. (Harvard Law), and your interdisciplinary research focuses on race and African American culture. You describe yourself as a Black feminist who was born in the South and who presently lives in a major northeast city. Can you give our readers the short version of your amazing journey?

Imani as a little girl with her parents at a protest in Birmingham. The sign reads “Stop the War Against Black America.”

IP: It’s hard to make this short: I was born in Birmingham, Alabama into a large Black Catholic family nine years after the 16th street Baptist church bombing. I am the child of intellectuals and activists; the freedom movement was a constant theme in my coming of age. I moved North to Cambridge, Massachusetts at age 5 (after a brief time in Milwaukee where I attended a “freedom” pre-school that was built in response to a boycott of segregation in city schools.) In Cambridge, my mother began doctoral work again (she had been one of four Black women at Yale in the Theology and Philosophy program before I was born). I was educated at a progressive Quaker school and lived in a counter-culture, multi-racial environment. In the summers, I returned home to Alabama or visited my father in Chicago. My father lived in a gay community and was very active in social justice work around prisons and Central America. I attended camp at Jane Addams Hull House and the New City YMCA, which was a few blocks away from The Cabrini Green housing projects back then. Many of my fellow campers lived in Cabrini. Needless to say, I experienced a wide cross section of American life. I also had access to excellent schools, and my parents are both active scholars and people who have devoted their lives to trying to make a meaningful contribution to the world. It is unsurprising that I became an academic; although, until I was 19, I thought I was going to be a math professor. I attended Yale as an undergraduate student in the era when 3rd wave feminism was born there; the queer community was thriving and our expressions of Blackness were expansive. And I went into a Ph.D. program at Harvard in the “dream team” era in African American studies. I began Harvard Law School when Lani Guinier first joined the faculty. I was educated, and educated well, in an exciting time.

When I graduated, my first job was as a law professor at Rutgers Camden School of Law. I worked there for 7 years, earned tenure in my 5th year and was double promoted to full professor early. At Rutgers, I taught doctrinal courses like contracts and constitutional law but also taught critical race theory and a good deal of critical race feminism. After teaching a course in African American studies at Columbia and loving it, I decided I really wanted to teach in an interdisciplinary program. I’m now in my 4th year at Princeton, where I serve on the faculty in African American studies. I’m affiliated with other departments: Law and Public Affairs, Gender and Sexuality Studies, American Studies. And I also teach courses cross-listed with the Woodrow Wilson School and the Politics Department. What’s wonderful about that is that I meet students from across the University, and they work together to learn from the texts we read that come from a range of disciplines.

DM: You recently offered a compelling critique via social media in which you noted: “Black feminism used to be inherently radical, critical of classism, sexism, racism, heterosexism, and structures of domination, exploitation and imperialism everywhere. But now we have our own versions of NOW feminism, derivative 2nd wave feminism, and tone-deaf elitist middle class feminism.” Can you say more about these contemporary Black feminisms that you’ve named and why it might be important to remember the political and intellectual frameworks out of which Black feminisms emerged?

IP: Neoliberalism has infected every area of thought, even those we think of as inherently progressive. Feminism that is about “choice” (read consumption) rather than an analysis of power, and comes through the mechanisms, and reflects the priorities, of large corporations has very limited potential to actually say much of anything about the deep structure of inequality. I think it is important to remember early Black feminisms because those women had a deep analysis of inequality, one that began with, but extended far beyond their existences as Black women to address all forms of oppression at home and abroad. Those feminists did not celebrate the powerful, but rather advocated for the least of these. And their intellectual work was never simply about the fact of someone being born in a Brown skinned xx body, but rather about the interpretive power of beginning one’s thought from the experience of being Black and a girl or woman. I am worried when I read the title “Black feminism” applied to championing women like Susan Rice. I think a traditional and sophisticated Black feminist analysis does understand that she was targeted as a function of her race and gender; and yet, it also takes a critical posture towards her ideology which lies contrary to global principles of justice. Black feminist thought is not simply an interest group advocating for powerful Black women, it is about seeing the world with a vision of liberation. At least it should be.

DM: If a shift has taken place, do you think it is possible to conceive Black feminisms that reach back–to recuperate and bring into the present—a tradition of intersectional analyses and radical praxis–and push forward–to rethink and extend analyses and political work in areas under-theorized and not yet explored?

IM: I am currently writing about gender, and I am absolutely trying to do that. I think many other scholars are as well: Sara Ahmed and Sharon Holland immediately come to mind. Moreover, a lot of the women of the generation before me (I’m 40 years old) are still thinking and writing, such as Patricia Hill Collins and Bonnie Thornton Dill. The issue is: how do we get young feminists to turn to the books and to the grassroots, as much as they turn to celebrity feminists and the non-profit industrial complex, for their intellectual and political development? There is nothing more macho than corporate power and empire, feminists ought to be immediately skeptical of both even as we have to engage with them if we live in the United States. I’m worried that not enough self-proclaimed feminists have that skepticism. Black queer studies is probably the most robust area right now, in that it is a field that remains explicitly political and deeply analytical, yet connected to the lives of ordinary people: I’m thinking of scholars like E. Patrick Johnson or Rinaldo Walcott, here. All that to say, I think exposing students to sophisticated ideas and modes of analysis will provide them with the tools to push us further. Young people will be at the vanguard of a revitalized intellectual movement for gender justice.

DM: How do these questions figure into your present and/or future intellectual/political projects?

IP: As I said, I’m writing a book about gender. It is heavily theoretical, rooted in philosophy, jurisprudence and the literature of Black women of the renaissance of the 70s-90s. I’m pushing in a different direction than intersectionality. If we read the Combahee River Collective Statement, we see something that isn’t so specific or sited at the crossroads, but expansive and frankly both Marxist and infused with the sensibilities of liberation movements across the globe. I’m pushing in the direction they, and others, set forth.

DM: And speaking of your work, you’ve mentioned that your recent book, More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States, “called [you], rather than one [you] looked for.” How so?

IP: I think part of being an intellectual is both being an active and constant reader of books and articles and also reading one’s environment. So when I say the book called me, I mean that I didn’t plan to write it but, rather, it took shape through my reading and thinking and living. The same thing with my current book projects. In academia, we are often told to have a fixed research agenda from the beginning of one’s career. I have never subscribed to that approach. I write consistently, but I write where my passion lies, and that is an ever-changing and growing thing. Living as an intellectual is prayerful. You immerse yourself in ideas; you live and love the life of the mind; and at opportune times you find insight thrust upon you. It is a blessing.

DM: Lastly, who would you name as your Black feminist sheroes, those whose lives and work invigorate your own? And why?

IP: This is an extremely hard question. There are so many, so this is just a handful of them: all women I’ve known. Certainly, the women in my family, helmed by my late grandmother Neida Mae Garner Perry, are all models of organic feminism. The sense of personal power that I learned from them has enabled every aspiration. And, as a girl, I met Ella Baker several times. She was elderly by then, and I took her to the park. Knowing who she was, I learned early on that a woman who developed a politic around ways of thinking that are traditionally conceived of as female–collaboration, participation, inclusion, process, humility–could initiate an organization that would change the world. That had a huge impact on me. Mary Helen Washington’s landmark and beautiful, Black Eyed Susans, was the first Black feminist anthology I ever read–I read it when I was in middle school–and she went to my church so doing this kind of work was “real” for me. When I was a young scholar, she praised me for maintaining a class analysis in my scholarship. That attention meant the world to me. Beverly Smith, one of the authors of the Combahee River Collective Statement, and other women of that community were often in my living room for gatherings when I was young, and the conversations they had influenced me. Kate Rushin encouraged me to read Black feminist writers specifically when I was a teenager. I listened. I also began to read her poetry as an adult. It is so human and so Black and so womanly.

In college, I interned at South End Press and, as a result, spent a significant amount of time with bell hooks. Her way of both naming injustice and the thought that produces it, but also remaining hopeful, was inspiring. And she did away with any thought that feminism had to be staid. And then, in my senior year of college, I read Patricia Hill Collins Black Feminist Thought, and I remember calling my mom and saying “THIS is what I want to do when I grow up!” It turns out she knew Pat from Black Catholic activist days. Years later, I got to know Pat myself, and I continue to be amazed by the complex maps she creates of how gender and race and class operate. Lani Guinier inspired me to go to law school and inspires me still with her ability to be critical of the site of her own privilege as a scholar who is at a very powerful institution. I try very hard to replicate that critical posture. My play-sister, Farah Jasmine Griffin, models what it means to prioritize Black women as creative and intellectual subjects, to challenge their place in dominant epistemologies, and open up new epistemological frameworks that center Black women writers and musicians. She teaches us how much we matter. And, Toni Morrison is everything. She announces to the world that the very best, the most profound, the most beautiful and the deepest cutting words emerge from the embodied lives of Black women. What better license to write could there be?


Professor Perry is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies race and African American culture using the tools provided by various disciplines including: law, literary and cultural studies, music, and the social sciences. She has published numerous articles in the areas of law, cultural studies, and African American studies, many of which are available for download at: She also wrote the notes and introduction to the Barnes and Nobles Classics edition of the Narrative of Sojourner Truth. She is the author of Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop (Duke University Press, 2004) and More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States (New York University Press, 2011). Professor Perry teaches interdisciplinary courses that train students to use multiple methodologies to investigate African American experience and culture.


The Feminist Wire

Guns, Race and America’s Collective Psychosis l Ishmael Reed


It’s Not the Deer, It’s the Brothers

Guns, Race and America’s Collective Psychosis


When I appeared on a panel with Chris Hedges during the Miami International Book Fair, I told him and the audience that I appear in a book called My Ideal Bookshelf by Jane Mount and Thessaly La Force in which a stack of the favorite books of writers were painted by Ms. Mount. White authors wrote about a third of my favorites.

But I mentioned that though I read white male authors avidly, it’s difficult to gather the points of view of others when both left and right opinions in the media industry are dominated by white men. To present those points of view that are left out might add new dimensions to the discussion of important issues in the news, for though the media mocks Gov. Romney’s alienation from changing demographics, they suffer from the same problem.

For example, the Bank of America is in constant trouble with the law. I witnessed the president and CEO of the Bank of America, Brian Moynihan, make his case about foreclosures before an audience assembled by the Brookings Institution. The audience was reverential to Moynihan who carried on like BOA was Mother Teresa. And while the moderator, Karen Dynan, Vice President of Brookings, did everything but wash his feet and kept “completely” agreeing with him, even though millions of her sisters have been harmed by the bank’s policies, it took a Hispanic representative from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals to ask him why black and Hispanic borrowers were steered into subprime loans by BOA when the majority were eligible for conventional loans.

An all white panel followed the presentation by the CEO even though BOA’s policies have disproportionately affected blacks and Hispanics. No matter how brightest and best, and no matter the degrees from Harvard, Yale, etc., when it comes to analyzing events from the perspective of blacks and browns, most members of the segregated media, have a blind spot; but fortunately, many don’t. Thom Hartman, Randy Rhoads and Jay Marvin get it, which is why you rarely see them on the tube. Apparently the corporations that ambush our eyeballs screen them out too. So do sites like Salon and the Daily Beast.

The late Alexander Cockburn was even censored by a neoliberal site, The Nation, which is run by a feminist, who slashed his popular column from two pages down to one and from two a month to once a month; yet, like the New York Times Book Review, the majority of books reviewed in The Nation are written by white men. And the media, according to Rick Sanchez, cater to “Angry White Men.” Therefore you can’t bring up subjects that might alienate them. This is why Howard Kurtz, who did a tribute to confessed rapist Strauss Kahn (who made a settlement of six million dollars with his accuser, with little coverage from the media), and a black female reporter can rake Chris Brown but, as a result of a non-aggression pact between General Electric and Rupert Murdoch, can’t touch Murdoch, who approved of a cartoon showing the president as a murdered chimp and fired Sandra Guzman when she objected. Reuters reported:

“In November 2009, Guzman, who is black and Puerto Rican, sued the Post, its editor Col Allan and its parent News Corp for alleged discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, gender and national origin, saying she had been fired in retaliation for complaints over inappropriate conduct.”

Who has done more damage to women? Chris Brown or Murdoch’s Tea Party that wants to end food stamps, Medicaid and Social Security?

On Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC show, moderated by the very gifted, intellectually, Mrs. Perry, the brothers get roughed up every week, even to the extent of dragging in Isiah Thomas’s sexual harassment suit (the accuser received a eleven million dollar settlement) into a discussion about misogyny in the armed forces, when Thomas is not a soldier, general or admiral. He was a basketball coach. Yet, when having a discussion of violence against Native American women, 34% of whom get raped during their lifetimes, feminists who were panel members on Melissa Harris Perry’s show, and the host herself, sought to shield white men from shame. They got tongue-tied. The perpetrators were described as “non-Indian” males. It took Jonathan Capehart of  the Washington Post, to identify the “non-Indians” as white men.

These are the kind of feminists who get all worked up about Chris Brown and O.J. and the Central Park Five, but when it comes to white men, their employers’ group, acting crazy, they get a pass. They’re referred to as non-Indians. Euphemisms are invoked.

Also on a MSNBC progressive show last weekend, there appeared another sign of how clueless white progressives are about black feelings, a cluelessness that black progressives have complained about since the 1920s. Liberals and progressives appearing on “Up w/Chris Hayes” praised Mayor Bloomberg for his gun-control policies. Nothing about his stop and frisk Gestapo policy, which led 640,000 black and Hispanic men and women to being stopped in 2011 and often roughed up by the notorious NYPD, a degenerate outfit that even Richard Price’s latest effort to pretty it up, failed. His “Wire” offshoot, “NYC22,” was cancelled. The Times reviewer said that showing Harlem blacks engaging in stupid low level crimes was an “exhausted genre.” When I said the same thing about “ The Wire,” David Simon, who has become the chief money-making translator of black to white America, said that I was against him because he was “a white man” writing about blacks. If I spent my time and energy writing about white men writing about blacks, screen writers, authors of hoodie books, television script writers, bloggers, columnists, sociologists that’s all I’d be doing. One of the salespersons for “Precious “said that it would provide a “gold mine” of opportunity. Opportunity for some whites. Cecil Brown said that a white Berkeley professor asked him about issues in the black community. Brown mentioned asthma. Next thing Brown knew, the professor had received a large grant to study asthma in the black community.

When I was in East Jerusalem in September, Palestinian kids, having gotten all of the information about blacks from Hollywood and CNN, asked me why all black Americans were drug addicts. I told them that it’s because our enemies tell our stories. Is this something new? W.E.B. DuBois criticized DuBose Heyward’s book for “Porgy and Bess” and said that if whites were depicted in the same way there would have been no ticket sales. These ticket buyers are crazy about their Catfish Rows, and their “Precious.” “The Wire” and films by Quentin Taratino.In a Times article it was written that in the new revised “Porgy” the character Crown becomes a rapist instead of a seducer

in order to enhance ticket sales. Who is the bigger molester or harasser of black and Hispanic women, Crown, Isiah Thomas or men under Mayor Bloomberg’s command?

Black women have complained that they have been sexually molested during Bloomberg’s stop and frisks, but hey, maybe one of these clowns will rescue them from fire like in the movie, “Crash” where the star of the movie, a cop, not only manages to cop some free feels at the expense of the black woman, but becomes a sort of CNN hero as well.

I watched in amazement as the feminists on the MSNBC panel including the brilliant Esther Armah, radio host at WBAI, sat in silence as New York Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson tossed kudos to Bloomberg, a pious pompous hypocrite, who criticizes the president, while his police department under the leadership of his Commissioner Raymond Kelly terrorizes black and Hispanic citizens, even children. Their harassment of children even outraged Bob Herbert. Hewing to the feminist line, the enormously talented Ms. Armah believes that only males commit violence. I suppose that she didn’t get my email, which suggested that things might be more complicated. In it I cited Natalie J. Sokoloff, and Christina Pratt’s 2005 book, Family & Relationships –where the authors wrote: “Black women are also more likely than their White counterparts to inflict lethal violence against their husbands.” Amy Goodman should read this book. Ms. Armah should also take a look at the gun collection of Nancy Lanza, whose son Adam murdered 20 children in Newtown. Do you suppose those guns were for hunting deer?

As O.J. Simpson said, they drag him into discussions that don’t have anything to do with him.  Last week when discussing that not all murders are done with guns, someone noted that O.J. used a knife. Put aside the fact that the police planted evidence in the O.J. case, and that a serial killer, who used to party with Nicole Simpson, has confessed to the murders and that O.J. was acquitted, during the same time 22 Chinese kids were stabbed by a mentally disturbed person and only one kid died. By equating a knifing with the massacre of the Newtown children, Steve Kornacki, who is presented on MSNBC as a neo-liberal, was providing cover for the NRA.

This holds true of all blacks, apparently. It’s amazing how even when the perp of a massacre of children is white, media were able to include black perps or personalities in the story. On MSNBC , Dec.15, Jesse Jackson Jr.’s bi-polar condition was cited when discussing Lanza’s “mental illness.” Other black cases that were brought up were the mentally disturbed black suspect who pushed a man into an oncoming train, and the black perp of the Long Island Railroad murders. So even when the perpetrator of a enormous crime is white, the profit center’s directive that angry white males be entertained with images of blacks fucking up is not far from the producers’ minds, even on progressive MSNBC where Michael Steele of the Republican Party migrates from show to show all day not to mention Morning Joe’s three hour Republican caucus each morning.

Not only were blacks cited during a discussion of a crime committed by a white man, Africa was also cited. Somalia came up. S.E. Cupp, a conservative member of a panel on “The Cycle,” said on Dec.18 that when she thinks of a violent country she thinks of Somalia. On the same date, Joy Reid of “The Grio,”partially owned by NBC, chose Mogadishu. Aren’t these women who have access to millions of viewers obligated to mention how the weapons got to Africa? The World Policy Institute issued a report that concluded “Finding 1 – Due to the continuing legacies of its Cold War policies toward Africa, the U.S. bears some responsibility for the cycles of violence and economic problems plaguing the continent. Throughout the Cold War (1950-1989), the U.S. delivered over $1.5 billion worth of weaponry to Africa. Many of the top U.S. arms clients – Liberia, Somalia, the Sudan, and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo or DRC) – have turned out to be the top basket cases of the 1990s in terms of violence, instability, and economic collapse.” In the 1950s, I remember conservatism being represented by heavyweights like Hugh Kenner, but Ms. Cupp? Sarah Palin?

Also, given the chance to vote, I suspect that those citizen of countries where millions of women and children died as a result of invasions by American armed forces might think of the U.S. as a place to think of when thinking about violence, and as much as we might lament the terrible slaughter of the innocents in Newtown, I was wondering as I watched the president whether he weeps when he hears about the deaths of thousands of children in countries occupied by forces under his command or the Palestinian kids who get massacred on a regular basis. At least the Newtown murder has begun a more serious discussion of the National Rifle Association and its ownership of Congress, but omitted from the discussion are the racist and anti-Semitic remarks that have been made by NRA board members. When David Sirota got blasted for suggesting that white men be subjected to racial profiling since the typical mass shooting perpetrator is a white man, you can imagine what would happen were some of the black media faces to suggest such a thing. They’d be accused of reverse racism or playing the race card.For a profile of the NRA’s board members, you have to go to

Once in awhile, the truth sneaks through despite the efforts of Chuck, Chris, Chris, David, and Dan, Luke and Joe to obfuscate. Michael Moore told Piers Morgan that the nation is armed because whites with guns want to use them on black people. Morgan interrupted him. Morgan must have read the memo from CNN executives, one of whom told Rick Sanchez that “Race sells.” These armed whites have a fantasy that was portrayed in Robert Crumb’s brilliant though offensive cartoon “When The Niggers Take Over America.”

There’s another source that reveals what is on the minds of those who have rushed to the gun stores when President Obama was elected and when he was re-elected. Do you think that these millions armed themselves because volunteers were requested to diminish the over population of deer? Maybe I’m not surprised that the media haven’t paid more attention to The Turner Diaries, the novel manifesto that inspired Timothy McVeigh who blew up the Alfred E.Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19,1995;a shoot-out between the FBI and a Neo-Nazi that took place outside of Pullman, Washington. Buford O. Furrow, who shot kids at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in 1999; Richard Poplawski, who murdered three Pittsburgh policemen in 2009. None of these killers suffered from Asperger’s. In William Pierce’s book, the Jews get “The Cohen Act” passed. They take away the guns and the “Negro police” enforce the act. As a result blacks assault whites. They even commit cannibalism. The big obsession of the book is race-mixing.

Senator Diane Feinstein has promised to introduce legislation that will ban assault weapons and if it passes, black Attorney General Eric Holder will enforce the legislation. It is because of the paranoid fantasy, this collective psychosis, one that the media are scared to mention, that the nation will never get rid of assault weapons and more Newtowns will happen, and even deadlier ones than the Newtown massacre.

Ishmael Reed’s latest book is “Going Too Far.” He is the publisher of Konch at Konch goes monthly in January.

Reposted from CounterPunch

I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave l Mother Jones


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I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave

My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine.


Illustration by Mark MatchoIllustration by Mark Matcho

“DON’T TAKE ANYTHING that happens to you there personally,” the woman at the local chamber of commerce says when I tell her that tomorrow I start working at Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping Worldwide Inc. She winks at me. I stare at her for a second.

What?” I ask. “Why, is somebody going to be mean to me or something?”

She smiles. “Oh, yeah.” This town somewhere west of the Mississippi is not big; everyone knows someone or is someone who’s worked for Amalgamated. “But look at it from their perspective. They need you to work as fast as possible to push out as much as they can as fast as they can. So they’re gonna give you goals, and then you know what? If you make those goals, they’re gonna increase the goals. But they’ll be yelling at you all the time. It’s like the military. They have to break you down so they can turn you into what they want you to be. So they’re going to tell you, ‘You’re not good enough, you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough,’ to make you work harder. Don’t say, ‘This is the best I can do.’ Say, ‘I’ll try,’ even if you know you can’t do it. Because if you say, ‘This is the best I can do,’ they’ll let you go. They hire and fire constantly, every day. You’ll see people dropping all around you. But don’t take it personally and break down or start crying when they yell at you.”

Several months prior, I’d reported on an Ohio warehouse where workers shipped products for online retailers under conditions that were surprisingly demoralizing and dehumanizing, even to someone who’s spent a lot of time working in warehouses, which I have. And then my editors sat me down. “We want you to go work for Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping Worldwide Inc.,” they said. I’d have to give my real name and job history when I applied, and I couldn’t lie if asked for any specifics. (I wasn’t.) But I’d smudge identifying details of people and the company itself. Anyway, to do otherwise might give people the impression that these conditions apply only to one warehouse or one company. Which they don’t.

So I fretted about whether I’d have to abort the application process, like if someone asked me why I wanted the job. But no one did. And though I was kind of excited to trot out my warehouse experience, mainly all I needed to get hired was to confirm 20 or 30 times that I had not been to prison.

The application process took place at a staffing office in a run-down city, the kind where there are boarded-up businesses and broken windows downtown and billboards advertising things like “Foreclosure Fridays!” at a local law firm. Six or seven other people apply for jobs along with me. We answer questions at computers grouped in several stations. Have I ever been to prison? the system asks. No? Well, but have I ever been to prison for assault? Burglary? A felony? A misdemeanor? Raping someone? Murdering anybody? Am I sure? There’s no point in lying, the computer warns me, because criminal-background checks are run on employees. Additionally, I have to confirm at the next computer station that I can read, by taking a multiple-choice test in which I’m given pictures of several album covers, including Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and asked what the name of the Michael Jackson album is. At yet another set of computers I’m asked about my work history and character. How do I feel about dangerous activities? Would I say I’m not really into them? Or really into them?

Macduff Everton/CorbisMacduff Everton/CorbisIn the center of the room, a video plays loudly and continuously on a big screen. Even more than you are hurting the company, a voice-over intones as animated people do things like accidentally oversleep, you are hurting yourself when you are late because you will be penalized on a point system, and when you get too many points, you’re fired—unless you’re late at any point during your first week, in which case you are instantly fired. Also because when you’re late or sick you miss the opportunity to maximize your overtime pay. And working more than eight hours is mandatory. Stretching is also mandatory, since you will either be standing still at a conveyor line for most of your minimum 10-hour shift or walking on concrete or metal stairs. And be careful, because you could seriously hurt yourself. And watch out, because some of your coworkers will be the kind of monsters who will file false workers’ comp claims. If you know of someone doing this and you tell on him and he gets convicted, you will be rewarded with $500.



Pardon Attorney Misrepresented Facts to White House in Clarence Aaron Case – ProPublica

Presidential Pardons

Shades of Mercy

Pardon Attorney Misrepresented Facts to White House in Clarence Aaron CaseInsert an Image

by Dafna Linzer

ProPublica, Dec. 18, 2012, 11:59 a.m.

Clarence Aaron (Courtesy of PBS Frontline)

The U.S. Pardon Attorney failed to accurately share key information with the White House regarding a federal inmate seeking a commutation, the Justice Department’s Inspector-General concluded today in a detailed 20-page report. The findings determined that in overseeing the case of Clarence Aaron, the pardons attorney, Ronald L. Rodgers, engaged in “conduct that fell substantially short of the high standards expected of Department of Justice employees and the duty he owed the President of the United States.”

The inspector-general’s office said it was referring its findings regarding Rodger’s conduct “to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General for a determination as to whether administrative action is appropriate.”

The report also recommended that Rodger’s office begin reviewing files to locate “other instances” similar to the Aaron’s case “to ensure that the information provided to the White House,” in clemency decisions accurately reflects the facts.

via Pardon Attorney Misrepresented Facts to White House in Clarence Aaron Case – ProPublica.