A British police force will now treat violence and abuse against punks and goths as hate crimes.
Offenses committed on grounds of disability, race, religion or sexual orientation are already recognized across the U.K. as hate crimes. But now, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) will record crimes against “alternative subcultures”—which include goths, punks, emos, and metallers — in the same way.
In a statement heralding the “major breakthrough,” Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, GMP’s lead on hate crime said:
“We are able to officially recognize that people who wish to express their alternative sub-culture identity freely should not have to tolerate hate crime - something that many people have to endure on a daily basis.”
Skaters, skinheads, bikers, and bodybuilders would also be recognized as victims of hate crime, as Shewan told Channel 4 News.
“After Republicans won only 48 percent of all votes cast for the House in 2012 but 54 percent of the seats, it’s no secret that the party enjoys the huge built-in structural advantages in the chamber that Democrats had going for them decades ago. In a January memo, veteran GOP pollster Bill McInturff observed, “If you began your career as a Republican trying to win the House in the 1970s and 1980s, you would adopt, as I do, the borrowed adage, ‘There’s no crying in redistricting.’ ” The current unprecedented geographic concentration of Democratic voters was compounded by the 2010 wave election that gave Republicans unprecedented power in state legislatures to redraw political boundaries. Combined, these two demographic developments cast doubt on whether even a 2006-size wave would enable Democrats to win control of the House at any point this decade.
But could the Republicans’ arguably rigged House majority actually be a curse disguised as a blessing? It’s an interesting question. They clearly did everything they could to purge Democratic voters from their districts ahead of 2012, no matter whether those voters were white, black, Hispanic, left-handed, or right-minded—just as Democrats would have done had the roles been reversed. But in the process of quarantining Democrats, Republicans effectively purged millions of minority voters from their own districts, and that should raise a warning flag. By drawing themselves into safe, lily-white strongholds, have Republicans inadvertently boxed themselves into an alternate universe that bears little resemblance to the rest of the country?
Fresh 2010 census data by congressional district, compiled by The Cook Political Report’s House editor, David Wasserman, provides some numerical food for thought. Between 2000 and 2010, the non-Hispanic white share of the population fell from 69 percent to 64 percent, closely tracking the 5-point drop in the white share of the electorate measured by exit polls between 2004 and 2012. But after the post-census redistricting and the 2012 elections, the non-Hispanic white share of the average Republican House district jumped from 73 percent to 75 percent, and the average Democratic House district declined from 52 percent white to 51 percent white. In other words, while the country continues to grow more racially diverse, the average Republican district continues to get even whiter.”
As they say, read it all.
When he was in his late 20s, John Roberts was a foot soldier in the Reagan administration’s crusade against the Voting Rights Act. Now, as chief justice of the Supreme Court, he will help determine whether a key part of the law survives a constitutional challenge.
Memos that Roberts wrote as a lawyer in President Reagan’s Justice Department during the 1980s show that he was deeply involved in efforts to curtail the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act, the hard-won landmark 1965 law that is intended to ensure all Americans can vote. Roberts’ anti-VRA efforts during the 1980s ultimately failed. But on Wednesday, when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, he’ll get another chance to gut the law. Roberts’ history suggests a crucial part of the VRA may not survive the rematch.
At issue in Shelby County is whether a major portion of the Voting Rights Act, called Section 5, is constitutional. Section 5 compels jurisdictions with a history of discrimination, mostly in the South, to ask the Justice Department for permission—preclearance, in legalese—before making any changes to election laws. Shelby County, Alabama, is arguing that Section 5 is an extreme measure that is no longer justified because racism is no longer the problem it once was. If Section 5 is overturned, voting rights groups say, the federal government’s ability to ensure Americans are not denied the right to vote on the basis of race—at a time when race has been used as a proxy for party identification—will be severely weakened.
Shelby County offers Roberts an opportunity to complete a mission he began three decades ago. When the chief justice was a young lawyer, in 1981, Southern legislators hoped an ascendant conservative movement could pressure Reagan into opposing an extension of the VRA. In June of that year, Reagan wrote a letter to Attorney General William French Smith requesting an “assessment” of the law.
The power of hate crimes to terrorize is relatively simple: They are criminal acts that send a message far beyond the initial victim.
And yet it is that aspect of the laws that people often question. A running dialogue has long asked the need for such statutes, with some arguing that an assault is an assault, a murder is a murder and the normal penalties should suffice upon conviction.
But that misses the rationale behind hate crimes — when a person’s race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation is a motivator for an attack. The crime can be like a warning to an entire category of people.
“It doesn’t just affect the victim,” said Heith Janke, supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “It affects an entire community. Everyone lives in fear not knowing if they might be the next one attacked.”
University of Georgia graduate and current Georgia House member Paul C. Broun (GA-10) released a statement which included his bid to run for United States Senate. Announced on Feb. 6, Broun will run to take the seat of retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) in the 2014 race.
Holding a rally in Atlanta, Broun said his intent to run arose as a result of the “out-of-control spending in Washington DC,” with such unnecessary spending having become “our nation’s enemy.”
A campaign spokesperson for Broun said spending cuts is the first and foremost priority for his campaign.
“He believes firmly in advocating to stop the wasteful in Washington,” she said, “and he believes he will be the only candidate in this race to focus on cutting spending and shrinking the size and scope of the federal government.”
Now, as some background, out there in the stupider parts of the Internet, there are dudes who think of themselves as ‘alpha males.’ My experience with these fellows is that they tend to be ignorant, status-anxious and undersocialized; they tend to mask their various panic attacks about race, gender and sexuality by maintaining those panic attacks are in fact a sign of their superiority. They disdain those who are comfortable with a world in which diversity is respected and encouraged — especially those who are men — and call them ‘beta’ or ‘gamma’ males and/or describe them as ‘rabbits’ or some other species which they presume to be frightened or prey.
With that in mind, for those of us who are comfortable with diversity, who try not to be racist, or sexist, or homophobic, who don’t see the world as an apocalyptic zero-sum battle to the death between ourselves and whomever we try to hide our confused fear of by considering them as lesser beings, who aren’t in fact appallingly ignorant bigoted shitballs every single waking hour of the day, may I present to you an avatar — an icon, if you will, of who we are and how we choose to live our lives:
EDITED TO ADD: Yes, Gamma Rabbit, who likes people as they are, fears no one no matter how they live their lives, and who is comfortable with himself and his own personal values of kindness, tolerance and diversity. Sure, there are some who look down on him and his ways, but you know what? Gamma Rabbit knows that those people are kooky, silly, wacky racist sexist homophobic dipshits, and aside from looking forward to the day when they might pull their heads out and join the rest of the human race, lets them alone to do their own thing. Because Gamma Rabbit has other, better people and things to think about.
Competitors are putting the final touches to their motorcycles, quad bikes, cars and trucks ahead of the start of one of the world’s most extreme races. The Dakar Rally returns once again to South America, beginning in Lima, capital of Peru on Saturday January 5, before making its way to Santiago de Chile for a grand finale outside La Moneda on January 20.
The race will have two segments in Chile, with riders arriving from Arequipa in Peru before moving on through Arica and Calama then crossing the border to Salta in Argentina. The race returns to Chile through Copiapó, then travels to La Serena and finishing in downtown Santiago.
After injury to Marc Coma, the motorcycle race will not see the usual battle between the Spaniard and Cyril Despres. Chilean Francisco ‘Chaleco’ Lopez, who has won four different stages, will hope for a podium finish on arrival in Santiago.
Despres and Lopez tested their KTM bikes together in the dunes outside of Lima.
The Chilean rider finished third in 2010, but suffered a heavy crash to put him out of the race in the 2012 edition. Another motorcycle rider, Josefina Gardulski will be the first Chilean female to take on the challenge of finishing.
More than 8.000 kilometres will be covered over the 15 days. Riders will pass through the Atacama Desert, the driest in the world, before crossing over the Andes and into Argentina. Midway through the race, there will be a rest day in San Miguel de Tucumán, allowing the competitors to recover before returning to Chile.
A huge finish is expected in Santiago with authorities hoping to attract 1 million people to see the end of the race. Last year 800.000 people hit the streets of Lima to see the last day of action.
The race has a total of 8.574 kilometres, with 4.146 of them special stages, which require expert navigation.
Some other facts about the Dakar rally: 4 is the number of categories competing: motorcycles, squads, autos and trucks. The record of victories goes to Stephane Peterhansel who has six titles in motorcycle and four in car. Vladimir Chagin has seven wins in the trucks category.
The youngest competitor is 19 years and the oldest, 73. Likewise 53 different nationalities are registered with the French team the largest with 123 competitors.
Some 190 countries will be transmitting the rally with the collaboration of 70 television stations. 1.800 journalists and support crews are registered to cover the event.
Dakar twitter has 57.600 followers and in Facebook the number soars to 600.00.
The 2012 edition web dakar.com received 4.3 million visitors and a total 4.5 million spectators were estimated at the departure and arrival of the rally in Argentina, Chile and Peru. A billion television spectators saw images of the rally’s last edition.
The organization has a fleet of support vehicles which average 210, and includes eleven helicopters and twelve aircraft.
According to Argentine authorities the Dakar rally represented an input of 294 million dollars to the Argentine economy in 2012.
The first rally took off in January 1979.
Title: Romney and Ryan Campaign In Ohio
Caption: LANCASTER, OH - OCTOBER 12: A supporter of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Republican vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) waits for a campaign event to begin on October 12, 2012 in Lancaster, Ohio. Ryan debated U.S. Vice President Joe Biden the evening before and Romney is scheduled to debate U.S. President Barack Obama for the second time on October 16. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Date created: 12 Oct 2012
Update via Buzzfeed:
A Romney spokesperson commented that the shirt was “reprehensible and has no place in this election.”
There are a few errors in the content of the video… I had to rush the post-production editing a bit. I will annotate as I can. Some of the more embarrassing errors are misspelling governor and mispronouncing Tanzanian.
I’ve attempted to cite work on the slide in question wherever possible.
I think the question of why Jamaican sprinters do so well is a valid scientific question. Through it, I think we can also explore the idea of significant differences arising from population substructure.
I’ll explore in more depth the question of IQ differences at some point in the distant future. For now, I’m a bit eager to move on to other topics.
Louisiana is the world’s prison capital. The state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of its U.S. counterparts. First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana’s incarceration rate is nearly triple Iran’s, seven times China’s and 10 times Germany’s.
The hidden engine behind the state’s well-oiled prison machine is cold, hard cash. A majority of Louisiana inmates are housed in for-profit facilities, which must be supplied with a constant influx of human beings or a $182 million industry will go bankrupt.
Several homegrown private prison companies command a slice of the market. But in a uniquely Louisiana twist, most prison entrepreneurs are rural sheriffs, who hold tremendous sway in remote parishes like Madison, Avoyelles, East Carroll and Concordia. A good portion of Louisiana law enforcement is financed with dollars legally skimmed off the top of prison operations.
If the inmate count dips, sheriffs bleed money. Their constituents lose jobs. The prison lobby ensures this does not happen by thwarting nearly every reform that could result in fewer people behind bars.
One in 86 adult Louisianians is doing time, nearly double the national average. Among black men from New Orleans, one in 14 is behind bars; one in seven is either in prison, on parole or on probation. Crime rates in Louisiana are relatively high, but that does not begin to explain the state’s No. 1 ranking, year after year, in the percentage of residents it locks up.
Today, wardens make daily rounds of calls to other sheriffs’ prisons in search of convicts to fill their beds. Urban areas such as New Orleans and Baton Rouge have an excess of sentenced criminals, while prisons in remote parishes must import inmates to survive.
The more empty beds, the more an operation sinks into the red. With maximum occupancy and a thrifty touch with expenses, a sheriff can divert the profits to his law enforcement arm, outfitting his deputies with new squad cars, guns and laptops. Inmates spend months or years in 80-man dormitories with nothing to do and few educational opportunities before being released into society with $10 and a bus ticket.
Also see this other article by the same author:
What is good for the sheriff can be bad, even tragic, for the inmate. Local prisons, which generally keep those with sentences of fewer than 10 years, are bare-bones operations without the array of educational and vocational programs that are standard at state prisons. Inmates caught up in the wardens’ daily bartering can be transferred arbitrarily, sometimes losing chances at a GED certificate or a work-release job when they land at another facility. Plumbers and auto mechanics are valuable commodities, given up by one warden as a favor to another.