Fifty years ago, African-Americans were targets of the Ku Klux Klan’s violent hate agenda as the Civil Rights movement gained steam in desegregating public institutions across the South.
The Birmingham church bombings, which killed four little girls in 1963, was one of the most violent crimes the Ku Klux Klan has been responsible for in attacking Black Americans (on Friday, the president signed a bill designating the Congressional Gold Medal commemorating the lives of the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing).
In 2013, the Ku Klux Klan is still active and fighting to hold on to the legacy of their forefathers. Triple Hate, a new VICE documentary, profiles a recent KKK rally against the Memphis city council’s decision to rename Confederate parks.
But why are groups like the KKK still holding on to the past? According to Bill Nigut, Southeast regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, the issues of the KKK are deeper than just wanting to defend their history and keep the Confederacy alive.
“They are venting their anger and frustration. They are looking to blame people for issues in their own lives,” says Nigut. “It is not surprising that in a time of economic uncertainty there are people looking to blame other people for their own problems.”
Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel is clutching his pearls and cranking up the faux outrage machine once again, this time over a pamphlet sent out to management at the Department of Justice that offers suggestions on how to maintain a positive work environment for LGBT employees. And he lies about the content of that pamphlet in order to claim that it’s an “attack on freedom.”
Our sources have provided Liberty Counsel an internal DOJ document titled: “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers.” It was emailed to DOJ managers in advance of the left’s so-called “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.”
The document is chilling. It’s riddled with directives that grossly violate - prima facie -employees’ First Amendment liberties.
Following are excerpts from the “DOJ Pride” decree. When it comes to “LGBT pride,” employees are ordered:
“DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.” (Italics mine)
That’s a threat.
And not even a subtle one.
Oh, nonsense. First of all, this is a pamphlet of “practical tips to help managers create a truly inclusive workplace
climate.” It’s not a set of commandments delivered from Mt. Sinai. It wasn’t even sent out by DOJ officials, it was sent out by DOJ Pride, the Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Employees of the U.S. Department of Justice and Their Allies. And when you look at this in context, it becomes clear what that little out-of-context snippet means
With less than six weeks left until the interest rate on Stafford loans are set to double if Congress doesn’t act, proposals on how to address these federal interest rates have been pouring in from all branches of the government.
On Thursday, the House passed the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, which would put Stafford loan interest rates in step with financial markets from year to year, ending a system in which rates are set by Congress. This “simple” solution likely won’t get far, as it faces opposition from Senate Democrats who have a competing bill that would extend the current interest rate of 3.4 percent for two years, giving Congress time to consider a long-term approach to address the growing student debt crisis that impacts 38 million Americans.
President Obama also threatened to veto the bill, calling it the “wrong approach” for students and their families, citing the lack of transparency and clarity for student and parents who try to garner the true price tag of borrowing for college, missing repayment options for borrowers who don’t attend school anymore, and shifting the burden of reducing the deficit on the shoulders of student loan borrowers among others.
In response to the House’s passage of the bill Carmel Martin, executive vice-president for policy at the Center for American Progress, our parent organization, said in:
The decision by the House of Representatives to approve Rep. Kline’s proposal is a step in the wrong direction for students and the economy. Rep. Kline’s bill taxes students to pay down the deficit. Congress should act to stop rates from doubling and build in protections for students to help them manage their debt. The House measure would divert $3.7 billion from the program to deficit reduction and result in an increase in student debt of close to $4 billion over what borrowers would pay under current law.
A Houston man faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted on charges that he called in bomb threats to two Jewish synagogues, federal prosecutors said.
A criminal complaint against Dante Phearse, 32, was unsealed Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
More: Courthouse News Service
This case should be interesting - this is where “reasonable expectation of privacy” butts up against journalistic freedom. I believe that Svenson has stepped over the line here, but the courts could rule otherwise.
The Fosters say they did not consent to be photographed, and would have refused if asked.
They say they were “deeply distressed” to find that their “children’s faces were clearly recognizable,” potentially “compromising their safety and security.”
“Plaintiffs were also greatly frightened and angered by defendant’s utter disregard for their privacy and the privacy of their children,” the complaint states. “Plaintiffs now fear that they must keep their shades drawn at all hours of the day in order to avoid telephoto photography by a neighbor who happens to be a professional photographer.”
The Fosters claim that Svenson stands to profit handsomely from “The Neighbors.” A bit of Internet research showed that a Los Angeles gallery’s exhibition quoted pictures of the children at $5,000 to $7,500 apiece, according to the complaint.
“Upon information and belief, Svenson intends to sell five prints of ‘Neighbors #6’ and ‘Neighbors #12’ for a total of $50,000-$75,000,” the complaint states.
“Neighbors #6 shows Martha Foster holding her son James, with her daughter Delaney standing beside her. Delaney is wearing a bathing suit and James is wearing a diaper.
“Neighbors #12 shows Martha Foster holding Delaney in her arms. Delaney is wearing a bathing suit.”
Svenson’s press statements demonstrate his “disregard” of privacy concerns, the Fosters say.
“For my subjects there is no question of privacy,” Svenson said in a promotional statement, according to the complaint. “The neighbors don’t know they are being photographed; I carefully shoot from the shadows of my home into theirs. I am not unlike the birder, quietly waiting for hours, watching for the flutter of a hand or the movement of a curtain as an indication that there is life within.”
Martha Foster claims she told Foster that she does indeed have questions about her family’s privacy.
“Greatly concerned for the safety and security of her children, plaintiff Martha Foster contacted Svenson on or about May 2, 2013, to express her concerns and attempted to resolve the situation amicably,” the complaint states. “Defendant was unwilling to completely stop selling and displaying images of plaintiffs’ children.”
After this conversation, the Fosters retained attorneys and publicity for Svenson’s project exploded, with NBC, CBS and ABC, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and New York Post lining up to profile the photographs, according to the complaint.
“These videos and articles include photographs that clearly picture plaintiffs’ apartment building and many provide its address. ‘Neighbors #12’ continues to be displayed on a Facebook web page attributed to Svenson,” the complaint states.
More: Courthouse News Service
White House aides rankle at any comparison to Bush and Cheney. They dutifully note that in his first days in office, Obama ended the use of torture (a.k.a. enhanced interrogation techniques) and declared his intention to shut down Guantanamo. (Gitmo remains open, but that’s mainly because congressional Republicans and Democrats thwarted the White House effort to develop a high-security facility in the United States to house the detainees.) And the Obama-ites contend they have reformed some of the Bush-Cheney policies, such as the use of military commissions, to justify maintaining these practices. Also, they are not reluctant to add that Obama did end the war in Iraq and is downsizing the war in Afghanistan (at a faster pace than then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA chief David Petraeus urged in 2011). But much of this defense has tended to get lost as the administration has fired off drone strikes without acknowledging the individual attacks and has, following in the path of previous administrations, resisted certain congressional oversight efforts.
So Obama’s speech Thursday on counterterrorism policies—which follows his administration’s acknowledgment yesterday that it had killed four Americans (including Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda leader in Yemen)—is a big deal, for with this address, Obama is self-restricting his use of drones and shifting control of them from the CIA to the military. And the president has approved making public the rules governing drone strikes.
The New York Times received the customary pre-speech leak and reported:
A new classified policy guidance signed by Mr. Obama will sharply curtail the instances when unmanned aircraft can be used to attack in places that are not overt war zones, countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The rules will impose the same standard for strikes on foreign enemies now used only for American citizens deemed to be terrorists.
Lethal force will be used only against targets who pose “a continuing, imminent threat to Americans” and cannot feasibly be captured, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a letter to Congress, suggesting that threats to a partner like Afghanistan or Yemen alone would not be enough to justify being targeted
A new NASA and university analysis of ocean data collected more than 135 years ago by the crew of the HMS Challenger oceanographic expedition provides further confirmation that human activities have warmed our planet over the past century.
Researchers from the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, Australia; and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., combined the ship’s measurements of ocean temperatures with modern observations from the international Argo array of ocean profiling floats. They used both as inputs to state-of-the-art climate models, to get a picture of how the world’s oceans have changed since the Challenger’s voyage.
The Challenger expedition, from 1872 to 1876, was the world’s first global scientific survey of life beneath the ocean surface. Along the way, scientists measured ocean temperatures, lowering thermometers hundreds of meters deep on ropes.
“The key to this research was to determine the range of uncertainty for the measurements taken by the crew of the Challenger,” said Josh Willis, a JPL climate scientist and NASA project scientist for the upcoming U.S./European Jason-3 oceanography satellite, scheduled to launch in 2015. “After we had taken all these uncertainties into account, it became apparent that the rate of warming we saw across the oceans far exceeded the degree of uncertainty around the measurements. So, while the uncertainty was large, the warming signal detected was far greater.”
Uncertainties around the Challenger’s measurements were caused by the limited areas measured during the voyage; the actual depths the thermometers descended to; and the likely natural variation in temperature that could occur in each region during the voyage.
“Our research revealed warming of the planet can be clearly detected since 1873 and that our oceans continue to absorb the great majority of this heat,” said researcher and lead author Will Hobbs of the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. “Currently, scientists estimate the oceans absorb more than 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases, and we attribute the global warming to anthropogenic (human-produced) causes.”
The Challenger expedition measurements also revealed that thermal expansion of sea water caused by global warming contributed about 40 percent of the total sea level rise seen in tide gauges from 1873 to 1955. The remaining 60 percent was likely to have come from the melting of ice sheets and glaciers. Prior to this research, climate models offered the only way to estimate the change before the 1950s.
Results of the study are published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
For more on the study, visit: imas.utas.edu.au .
Roan Garcia-Quintana of Greenville is, despite his name, a white supremacist. Being a white supremacist, it is not so surprising that he is a Tea Party activist.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Garcia-Quintana is also a rabid nativist. Merriam-Webster defines nativism as “a policy of favoring native inhabitants as opposed to immigrants.”
Where you think this would become a problem for Garcia-Quintana is that he was born in Havana and is a naturalized citizen. So here we have a non-native endorsing a policy which would make him a second-class citizen.
In other words, Garcia-Quintana does not want America to be for others what it has been for him.
Nobody said the Tea Party made any sense. Therefore, the befuddled Garcia-Quintana can say, apparently without a sense of irony, that Latino immigration is an “illegal alien invasion.”
If you want to know Garcia-Quintana’s logic, it runs thusly, reports the SPLC: “Although Cuban by birth, Garcia-Quintana does not consider himself Latino. His ancestors, he says, were Spaniards and this makes him white. He refers to himself as “Havana born, Savannah raised” and as a ‘Confederate Cuban.’”
Well, the preliminary numbers for CA are in — and they’re looking very good, with costs coming in below expectations. At this point, it looks as if this thing is indeed going to work.
And think about the political dynamics. Because the Supreme Court decided to let states opt out of the Medicaid expansion, some states — notably Texas — will have a pretty dysfunctional version of Obamacare in 2014, although even those systems will provide significant benefits to many people. Still, the whole political calculus was supposed to be that Republicans in red states could point to the horrors of Obamacare and ride them to political victory. Instead, it looks as if we’re going to see blue-state residents reaping the benefits of a functional health care system, while red-state residents are denied many of those benefits, for what looks like no better reason than mean-spirited spite — because what’s going on is, indeed, mean-spirited spite.
Predictions that Obamacare will be a big political issue are probably right — but not in the way gleeful conservatives imagined.