Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brooklyn School Cutting Gifted Program to Boost Diversity

Let me ask the reader a question: Do you believe that people should be recognized and challenged per their abilities?

Yes? Good.

A popular gifted program will get the axe after Ditmas Park school officials chose diversity over exclusivity.

Citing a lack of diversity, PS 139 Principal Mary McDonald informed parents in a letter that the Students of Academic Rigor and two other in-house programs would no longer accept applications for incoming kindergartners. “Our Kindergarten classes will be heterogeneously grouped to reflect the diversity of our student body and the community we live in,” McDonald told parents
Question: Why does it matter if a "gifted program" is diverse? It's supposed to be populated by whoever has the talent right? And how is it not diverse?
More than two thirds of the school’s roughly 1,000 students are black or hispanic while Asian-American and white students made up 28%, according to Education Dept. records.
So there are about 666 black or hispanic (who can be black as well) students in the school and Asians and Whites (those neanderthal descendants) make up 280 or so of the population (the rest being what?) but there is a "diversity problem" in the gifted program? How is that. Shouldn't "gifted" intelligence be equally proportional to the population? And if so shouldn't the Blacks and hispanics make up the majority of any gifted program at that school by sheer demographics alone?

No? Why not?

At least one parent described the small gifted program, Students of Academic Rigor — or SOAR — as overwhelming caucasion, although others disputed that characterization.
So the class is overwhelmingly "caucasian" but the school is overwhelmingly not caucasian. Why is that?

So the solution to black folks not performing is to change the playing field so that we can look like we're performing? Is that it?

Maybe a better and actual fruitful proposition would be to direct more resources at the underperforming majority of students.

RE: The NRA’s Call for Jihad

NRA Jihad? Counterpunch ran this piece yesterday in which one Charles R. Larson made the following idiotic claim:
It’s not very difficult to connect the NRA’s screeds against gun control in the United States with incidents of genocide in the world (Rwanda, Congo, Serbia, even the Nigerian/Biafran War in the late 1960s) or even as a call for jihad against those who would attempt to impose any controls on gun ownership.
This idiot put the NRA in the same box as machette wielding people in Rwanda who thought of their victims as “cockroaches”.

Really. He did.

Personally, If I were running Counterpunch and took a cursory glance at this piece, I would not have allowed it to grace the page.

Of course this is par for the course for people who misuse the term Jihad and apply it to anyone who has a strenuous objection to their supposedly guaranteed rights being taken away because of the actions of the criminal few.

For many Americans (not for all gun owners but for too many), gun ownership has become just as serious an addiction and as out of control as alcoholism or the abuse of other substances.
Well if we're talking addiction on the par of say crack cocaine, then Larson would be referring to criminals who will do anything to get a gun. Of course the law is already clear (in most places in the US) in regards to criminals accessing and using a firearm. And NOBODY, not even the most staunch gun rights advocate is saying that criminals ought to be free to carry.

No, the point of that little gem was to paint gun rights supporters as not only genocidal maniacs but as persons on the par with those frequenting AA meetings. Read:

. Addictive personality factors—potential harm to one’s self and others, the inability to admit that the addiction might, indeed, even be harmful, the need for increasing the actual number of lethal objects in one’s possession—all demonstrate co-dependency and an obsessive need for more guns, bigger guns, guns that have no justification outside of military contexts.
Ahh the addiction. Having all those potentially harmful objects (knives duly excepted) is a sure sign that one has a mental disorder. Never mind that most gun owners dont' commit any crimes whatsoever. That their children do not pick them up and kill themselves or others with them. No, never mind all that. There are criminals out there who use guns for nefarious means therefore all gun owners are, mentally speaking, disturbed. Oh sorry, “not all” just the ones who have “an increasing number” of “lethal objects” (knives duly excepted).

I suppose next the writer will claim that those of us who practice a martial art and are quite capable of dispatching a soul to his or her maker quickly, sans arms, are also addicted to, oh, being harmful objects.

The paranoia of gun addiction often culminates in dangerous if not irrational beliefs (“Obama is going to take our guns away from us”) and the endless need for more and more guns, presumably to defend one’s self the day Obama comes knocking on one’s door.  
Ahhh “paranoia”. First off, let's be clear. Not a single gun owner thinks that Obama (or any other US president) will literally come to their door and demand their guns. No, let me take that back, none of the sane gun owners, which the vast majority are, thinks that's going to happen.

What they do fear is that a US President, or State governor, will sign legislation, rushed through some legislative body, with little public notification or input, having not been read by the vast majority of said legislators, that will outlaw some gun (or ammunition) which they purchased lawfully, stored lawfully, transported lawfully and used lawfully, and there will be a sherrif (or other state representative) who will show up at their door and demand they turn over said arms. And yes, THAT does happen.

And if that were not enough, a US president or State governor may pass a law in which if some person thinks another person is “unstable” (possibly because that person is pro-gun rights) they can report said person to the state and the state will therefore have a right to confiscate that person's arms “pending an investigation”.

Oh yeah, THAT happens too.

Or perhaps a man who owns guns falls out with his wife. Say she wants out and decides to follow the advice of not a few lawyers out there who instruct her on how to make a fake domestic violence claim. Oh yeah, in that case, here comes the Sheriff who, following the law will remove the guns (to protect the “battered” wife) and him from his home. No need to substantiate the claims you know.

Yeah, this happens too.

So knowing all this, how do you call a person paranoid when what they fear is not only rational, but actually exists? Oh right, better to throw out the totally irrelevant “Obama at the door” argument that no one is making.

All of these aspects of gun ownership characterize an American society in which guns have become the means of dealing with the most trivial incidents of daily life.
Really sir?

It is simply not the case that “guns have become the means of dealing with the most trivial incidents of daily life”. That statement is delusional and, as a matter of fact a sure sign of actual paranoia

No, the fact of the matter is that gun use to settle “disputes” is rare. Yes, rare. Relative to the total US population (over 350 million) very few people who have disputes (which would be 99% of all adults) do anything worse than cuss the other person out. What you have are a set of people (unfortunately largely populated by African-American males) who lack decent conflict resolution skills who obtain guns illegally (they are either minors and/or persons with criminal records) and use those guns to “settle up”.

The next smaller subset of those with poor conflict resolution skills are those who go to public places such as malls and schools, and take revenge out on persons (or groups) they feel have hurt them emotionally.

So sorry to burst Larson's bubble but his entire thesis is bullshit.

 Those who do not possess them may conclude that they are becoming the victims of jihad and/or genocide conducted by dangerous fanatics who—according to recent incidents—will shoot to kill for the slightest provocation.
That statement right there is what we call actual paranoia. Genocide? Jihad? Counterpunchj saw fit to post this to their site?
Texting in movie theaters may be annoying to others, but is it criminal to the point of homicide?  Why does a retired policeman need to take a concealed gun to a movie theater?  Granted, he may have observed many killings during his career, but does he believe that he needs to carry a gun everywhere he goes?  
I see. It must be the case that the retired officer (who was totally in the wrong) merely steps out of his house and into a theater. He doesn't drive there. Doesn't walk there. Doesn't go anywhere else but there. But aside from that is the gall that Larson has to assume that HE has to approve of why and wherefore that that citizen chooses to do with his right to carry a concealed weapon. The shooter had every right to walk with his weapon. When bad things happen they don't up and announce themselves before hand. It's not like the people playing the knockout game wear a sign on their chests that say “I'm about to knock you the fuck out”. It's not like common criminals who will assault and steal your shit send you a letter in the morning that you should perhaps walk with your weapon today because today is your day to get knocked unconscious and left for dead. It's not like school or workplace shooters announce a week in advance that they will be coming in to kill the boss and the secretary might get one to the head. No Larson, when bad shit happens on the street, fortune favors the prepared.

I'm not going to justify the movie shooter's actions. He was right to go complain to the management. Apparently the management failed in their duty to take the customer's complaint seriously. They should have. People in theaters are really out of order with their phones. I sit in the very back of theaters and those bright ass screens are very very annoying, particularly since I'm paying. And yes, sometimes I want to see the previews. The theater shooter completely overreacted and should pay dearly for his actions. That does not excuse the entitlement pricks who think they can't go 2 hours without looking (and occasionally speaking) at their phones.

And lastly:

We are not ALL under attack—only those who do not possess guns.  Ergo, gun owners—and especially NRA spokespeople who have never demonstrated one iota of concern for the innocent victims of gun violence who are killed every day in our country—have created such an atmosphere of fear that they have become blood brothers of religious jihadists, using virtually the same argument.  And the thirty thousand deaths by guns (too many of them children) every year in the United States, what separates them from the victims of pogroms that kill off that many victims of ethnic disputes in Africa or even Europe?
Larson is really paranoid. I do not own a gun and I do not feel “under attack” by any gun owner. I support a gun owner's right to his or her arms. I don't oppose concealed or open carry either. Guns do not scare me. My only concern is the state of mind of the person holding it. That person could be a police offer (or other agent of the state) or a private citizen.

If you are walking around in a constant state of fear due to reported gun violence and you do not live in a place where that gun violence regularly happens (usually poor African-American communities) then you sir (or ma'am) should see a professional about your mental illness.

And in regards to those 30,000 dead children (taking his word for it), most of those children are teenagers engaged in gang violence meaning they did not obtain their guns legally and they used them in illegal acts (ie: not self defense or defense of others). In other words many of those “children” willfully engaged in behaviors they knew could get them killed. Sorry Larson but I don't saddle the responsibilty for those bad decisions on law abiding gun owners.

Charles Larson is a fear monger plain and simple. His comparisons to civil wars in various countries are totally out of order and Counterpunch can do much better in what it approves for it's site.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Our Ancestors"?

Every now and then, no, scratch that, very often I read stuff that reeks of "white folks are the center of everything". Today's post in the LA Times is a perfect example:
Mating between Neanderthals and the ancestors of Europeans and East Asians gave our forebears important evolutionary advantages but may have created a lot of sterile males, wiping out much of that primitive DNA, new genetic studies suggest.
"Our forebears"? I'm an African. I do not have European or East Asian ancestors. How do you write an article in a country in which there are people of various racial extractions and write "our forebears"? Oh right, you weren't thinking of the non-European descended masses.
“So it suggests that something came over from Neanderthals to present-day people that had to do with the skin and was advantageous and rose to high frequency.”
"Present-day" what? Black people have the same skin they had when humans first appeared on the scene. So what "present-day people" are you talking about?

And now onto other important matters:

The reports build on the publication in December of the full genome of Neanderthals that showed that they were genetically closer to modern Europeans and Asians than to modern Africans. The best explanation for that phenomenon was gene flow — a fancy term for interbreeding between the divergent species, which shared a common ancestor some 300,000 to 500,000 years ago.

At least 20% of the Neanderthal genome "introgressed" into the genome of our European and Asian ancestors, and East Asians retained slightly more of it, according to Akey’s analysis, based on genomes from 379 Europeans and 286 East Asians.

The slightly larger Neanderthal footprint among East Asians is not easily explained without a second "pulse" of gene transfer after they parted from Europeans, Akey's study suggests. “It’s a two-night-stand theory now,” Akey said.
So let us understand exactly what is being said here: Europeans and Asians have bunch of genes in common with Neanderthals that African humans do not. And that 20% of Neanderthal genes are "introgressed", that is:
Infiltration of the genes of one species into the gene pool of another through repeated backcrossing of an interspecific hybrid with one of its parents.
into the European and Asian populations and not the African.

But remember: There is no such thing as race.

Significantly:

“The 2% we see today is what’s remaining after there’s been some purging,” Sankararaman said. “We think that it was reduced by about a third.” That purge of Neanderthal DNA is “a huge amount in a relatively short period of time,” he said…

“It was established a couple years ago that there was a small but significant admixture with Neanderthals, but that doesn’t mean that the genes that were brought into modern humans had any function, that they were an improvement on what modern humans had," said Montgomery Slatkin, a UC Berkeley biologist who has done similar research on Neanderthal genetics but was not involved in either study. "But now there is convincing evidence that indeed some of them at least were selected in humans.”
No, doesn't meant it had any function but it doesn't mean that they did not either.
Genes linked to several modern diseases were among the Neanderthal legacy, including those correlated to Type 2 diabetes. But how much of a risk we inherited is debatable — the diabetes gene likely helped us survive food shortages, and may have proved detrimental as food became all too abundant in recent time.
Wait! such a minor amount of genes are linked to such a deadly disease? So the question is clear: What else are "linked" to relatively small numbers of genes?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You Tolerate That?

So reading this piece in the LA Times I came across the following:
Last fall, three San Jose State students were charged with hate crimes for allegedly bullying their black roommate. They'd called him names, barricaded him in the room and clamped a bicycle lock around his neck. It wasn't until the boy's parents visited and saw racial epithets, Nazi paraphernalia and a confederate flag on display in the dorm that college officials were informed and police got involved.

The torment had been going on for months. Four other students lived in that suite, but none of them complained or intervened to stop the harassment.
Yeah, lets agree that it was "bad" for the 4 other students to have not made a complaint but…..

What
The
Fuck
Was "the boy" doing?

Seriously. Who the hell tolerates "roommates" putting locks on their necks? No, seriously. And since the parents saw it, and it was going on for 4 months, why the hell didn't the "boy" go to the police? Fuck the RA. Why didn't he pick up his cell phone and dial 911? Why didn't he do what I did when I had a serious issue with a roommate: tell the relevant campus people that either I go, he goes, or there will be a dead body in the room in the morning?

No seriously. Tell them that unless somebody gets moved, there will be a dead body in the room the next day. Believe me, you will be moved pronto. it helps to clench your fists and look whoever is in charge of room assignments dead in the eye when you make this promise. Yes, I said promise.

Look, you get exactly what you tolerate. Clearly the boy was not THAT bothered by it. Or his parents did a shit job of teaching him to assert himself.

Monday, January 27, 2014

12 Years a Slave: Not Every Black Slave Driver is a "Driver"

; and during my eight years' experience as a driver, I learned to handle the whip with marvelous dexterity and precision, throwing the lash within a hair's breadth of the back, the ear, the nose, without, however, touching either of them. If Epps was observed at a distance, or we had reason to apprehend

he was as sneaking somewhere in the vicinity, I would commence plying the lash vigorously, when, according to arrangement, they would squirm and screech as if in agony, although not one of them had in fact been even grazed. Patsey would take occasion, if he made his appearance presently, to mumble in his hearing some complaints that Platt was lashing them the whole time, and Uncle Abram, with an appearance of honesty peculiar to himself, would declare roundly I had just whipped them worse than General Jackson whipped the enemy at New-Orleans.

12 Years A Slave: Hood Rich?

There was a grand party of whites assembled at Mr. Yarney's, in Centreville, a hamlet in the vicinity of Turner's plantation. I was employed to play for them, and so well pleased were the merry-makers with my performance, that a contribution was taken for my benefit, which amounted to seventeen dollars.

With this sum in possession, I was looked upon by my fellows as a millionaire. It afforded me great pleasure to look at it—to count it over and over again, day after day. Visions of cabin furniture, of water pails, of pocket knives, new shoes and coats and hats, floated through my fancy, and up through all rose the triumphant contemplation, that I was the wealthiest "nigger" on Bayou Boeuf.
Hood rich?

Let there be light: A hand-made solar lamp from Uganda

Garveyism at work.

Only critique, which is not so much directed at him but at the situation: sourcing batteries and panels from China.

With that information in hand, he set out designing his light, finding a contractor in China to manufacture the resulting circuit board.

For batteries, Lule simply chose three AA NiMH rechargeable, which are typically good for 12 hours of lighting. Those are expensive in Uganda at the moment but relatively cheap to import since they're mature technology. He estimates they'll be good for two years of use; by the time that's up, he hopes to be able to sell replacements to his customers. There's also nothing special about the LED itself or the solar cells. "I found people online, and I basically gave them the specifications, and they made the solar panels," Lule told Ars. "I've discovered that, if I buy just the solar cells and make the solar panels myself, I'll be able to save $0.80."
This will likely be discussed further in an upcoming piece in response to the Gates Foundation "Myths" annual letter.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Whither The Black Folks?

Go to Apple.com. Watch the 30 years of Mac video. Scroll through the different years. What do you not see? Who do you not see? Now I will remind the reader that early in Apple's history one Spike Lee was used to pitch Apple machines. My how much progress has occurred.

Do note that there are plenty of women.

The Cannibal Warlords of Liberia

Take an hour of your day and watch this.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lupita Nyong’o Is Red-Carpet Savvy and Has Awards to Match

I don't really do award shows, but remember The Ghost was the first to give her total and unreserved props for her work in 12 years.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

South Vermont Avenue: L.A. County’s ‘death alley’

A detective calls it “death alley.” The two miles of South Vermont Avenue that stretch north from Imperial Highway are home to churches, liquor stores, mortuaries and one of the highest rates of homicide in L.A. County.
And per chance, what are the demographics of this neighborhood?
Black alone - 16,015 (51.8%)
Hispanic - 14,178 (45.9%)
White alone - 341 (1.1%)
Two or more races - 151 (0.5%)
American Indian alone - 89 (0.3%)
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone - 72 (0.2%)
Other race alone - 65 (0.2%)
Asian alone - 4 (0.01%)
I'm sure that someone is going to blame white folks somewhere, anywhere for this.
In a county of 10 million people, Westmont is among the deadliest places to live. In the last seven years, 100 people — nearly all of them male — have been killed in the 1.8 square miles wedged between the city of Los Angeles and Inglewood.
That's that Black Male Privilege yo.
Westmont’s neighbor to the east, Vermont Vista, shares “death alley” as a boundary. But the L.A. city neighborhood, similar in size and demographics, has had a little more than half as many homicides, 57, over the same period.
Similar? Well actually there are less black folks on that side of the street with the black population below 40% in most of the neighborhoods.
Men account for nearly 85% of homicide victims. One of every three males killed is between the ages of 17 and 25. Latinos, about half of the county’s population, account for nearly half of all killings since 2007.
Blacks, just 8% of the county’s residents, remain disproportionately affected, accounting for 32% of homicides. Last year, black people in L.A. County were killed at more than seven times the rate of all other racial and ethnic groups combined. The homicide rate for blacks has remained stubbornly high even as homicides have plummeted in the county from 941 the year Homicide Report began to 594 last year.
I have already discussed how far out of proportion the murder rates are of African-Americans nation wide so I won't repeat it here.
On a recent evening, Deputies Branden Williams and Lisa Moya drove down West 105th Street between Normandie and Denker avenues. As the two flashed a bright light into the dark, men automatically lifted up their shirts to reveal their waistbands — proof that they weren’t carrying a gun.[my emphasis]
I suppose it's more efficient than stop and frisk.

Corey Stingley Got Himself Killed

It is unfortunate that some of us think it appropriate to protest when one of our own engages in a crime, gets caught and dies as a consequence of their behavior. Let us look at the case of Corey Stingley

A police report points to the time when Stingley is seen in the video putting six small bottles of vodka in his backpack. The surveillance video shows Stingley being confronted by the clerk as he tried to pay for an energy drink. Stingley is seen reaching for his debit card and then running. In the upper part of the screen — you see a struggle as three men stop Stingley.
In response to his son's clear criminal activity, which in the past would be a point of deep shame, Corey's father says:
“My son was brutally murdered. This wasn’t restraint. This was murder,” Craig Stingley said Wednesday.

Stingley’s father says Stingley was actually trying to return merchandise at the store prior to the altercation.

“These men plotted to do something, and as a result, a young person’s life is gone,” Craig Stingley said.
No seriously. The video clearly shows Corey shoplifting. Clear as day. When caught Corey clearly tries to run away. Somehow his father sees Corey "trying to return merchandise"? Now we understand why Corey thought it was OK to steal, his father is clearly an enabler who cannot even bring himself to confront the clear evidence that his seed was a thief.

If Corey wasn't a thief and meant to purchase the bottles in his bag (because MAYBE he couldn't carry them all, then when he got to the cashier, he would have opened his bag and told the clerk to ring up the stuff in there. There would be no grabbing and no running. So Corey's dad is full of shit.

Then you have the "plotted" statement. Corey's father would have us believe that the men who killed Corey were standing around in that store waiting for a negro to come in so that they could assault and kill him. No, really, because that is the only way a "plot" argument could be had.

Now let's address the NAACP's statement on the matter:

“The NAACP Milwaukee Branch is greatly troubled by the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Corey Stingley. While no one condones the kind of wrongdoing that he was alleged to have been engaged in, the actions of the three men who restrained Mr. Stingley resulting in his death, should be thoroughly examined. We grieve for and with his family and fully support their efforts seeking a civil or federal review of the circumstances that resulted in the most fundamental violation of civil rights – the loss of life.
You would THINK that once it was clear that Corey was a thief that the NAACP would wisely keep away from this case, but no, they have to come out with the stupidness. That paragraph reads like this:
We know Corey was a thief caught in the act of stealing but we're upset that the upstanding citizens took it upon themselves to stop him. In our communities, we let thieves and murderers do their shit and we don't snitch. How dare this citizens enforce a zero tolerance for criminality!
Continuing:
When a person loses his life at the hands of others, it would seem that a “chargeable” offence has occurred. If the District Attorney has determined that the traditional charge of manslaughter is not warranted under the circumstances, we believe that some other charge, under the facts as we understand them might nonetheless be appropriate. The family (and community) deserves to be satisfied that the investigation gave full consideration not only to the question of intent, but also to issues of criminal negligence and reckless disregard for life.
No when a person loses his or her life at the hands of other it does not mean that a chargeable offense has occurred. It means that a chargeable offense may have occurred. Defending life, limb and property are generally not chargeable offenses. You'd think the bright lawyers at the NAACP legal defense would know this.

The only person who was recklessly disregarding "life" was Corey who took the risk of committing a crime. His fault was thinking that because the people HE deals with apparently don't give a damn about theft that other people harbor the same tolerance for it.

The NAACP has had a long history of opposing vigilantism – taking the law into one’s own hands, for obvious reasons. Former National NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous recently cautioned (in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin death) how Stand Your Ground and other similar laws license vigilantism, adding that this should be a matter of grave concern to every enlightened citizen.
It is an insult to Trayvon's memory AND to Travon's family to even mention Trayvon's name in connection to this case. Trayvon Martin was not engaged in criminal activity. Trayvon had not been engaged in criminal activity. Trayvon was defending himself against an unstable Zimmerman (and we know this due to his activities since being acquitted). Corey was a thief who knowingly and willingly went to commit a crime. When Corey was caught he attempted to flee the scene of his crime and apparently attempted to assault the people who tried to stop him. That is not vigilantism that is good community actions against crime. Black people in high crime areas should take note and copy the example of those citizens who stopped Corey from getting away.

Double Standards Abound

So back in December Republican candidate Mark Jacobs said that:
“I think you have to connect with women on an emotional level. And with a wife of 25 years and an 18-year-old daughter, I’ve had a lot of coaching on that,”
Feminists went after Mark. Never mind that he referenced his insight to lessons learned from his wife and daughter. He's a man and therefore cannot say certain things in public. And never mind that research shows his statements to be 100% true. Now last week a female spokesperson for GM's Cadillac division, Melody Lee comes out and says the following:
f you look at market research, something that's really important to women is this ability to connect with a brand on an emotional level. It's arguably important to both men and women, but with women it's even more important that a brand actually stands for something, that it becomes something they embrace as much as the product itself.
Now where is the outrage that GM thinks women are "emotional"? If Melody is a professional sales person and has studied her market and has come to this conclusion than why does Mark Jacobs get grief for doing the same and stating the same?

Oh right, he possesses a penis.

Side note:

One example is in our bigger vehicles, our pedals previously were not adjustable. Now in the 2015 Escalade, you can move the pedal up. I can tell you this from experience. I'm driving one now, and I'm 4'11", and I would never be able to drive this car because I would be so close to the airbag that I would look like a little old lady driving down the street. But they've made the pedals adjustable so I can drive this car and not look ridiculous.
No, you still look ridiculous driving a huge ass Escalade in an urban environment for no other reason that you "feel safe" (which actually means: I can intimidate other drivers and make up for being so small).

This Guy Isn't White?

Because his name is Juan Pablo?

And I thought the One Drop Rule was silly.

Here's a clue white =/= English.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

NY Mayor De Blasio and Liberal Utopias

De Blasio is off to a nice start as the umber nanny state mayor that Bloomberg WISHES he could have been. First thing he does is lay out a plan to end the horse carriages in NYC. Why? Because he doesn't like them. No Really. This mayor's first thing out the block is to mess with people's livelihood's because HE doesn't care for it.

I used to think conservatives were the only people who wanted to stuff their values down other people's throats. Of course his actions have been couched in "animal rights" language. That it is inhumane to work the horses. I suppose racing them at Belmont is OK though. Here's a suggestion for people who object to horse carriages in NYC: don't ride in one. See how easy that is. And we know that the "abuse" claims made by groups are mostly false. I say mostly false because I cannot actually verify that no owner has ever never abused an animal under his or her care. But I do know that people who depend on horses for their livelihood do not have an incentive to abuse said horse anymore than a cab driver benefits from not properly maintaining his vehicle. This spring I might actually ride on one them JUST because they are being messed with by the city.

But the real point of this piece is the recent proposal by De Blasio on his "crackdown" on speeders in NYC. He says:

A panel that de Blasio created that includes the NYPD, the Department of Transportation, the Health Department and the Taxi and Limousine Commission will report back next month to pursue his goal of “Vision Zero,” which aims to reduce traffic deaths to zero.
Ahh yes, liberals and their utopias. You know the lands where no crime occurs, everyone has a 100 IQ (or 115) and nobody dies of anything remotely considered an accident. I wonder if anyone at the press conference bothered to even ask De Blasio if there is ANY metropolis ANYWHERE that has zero auto-person fatalities (or at least accidents). Because surely that would have shut that part of the conference down. But never let facts get in the way of liberals with utopia fantasies.

The second dumb thing about his proposal is the fact that there were no mentions, by him, of the fact that a large proportion of automobile-pedestrian accidents are the fault of the pedestrian. Police Commissioner Bratton did mention that fact. The number is 66% of accidents according to his statement. So how do you have the majority of accidents caused by pedestrians suddenly made into an automobile operator fault? Oh right, because like many liberals, De Blasio also doesn't care for automobiles.

Yeah, don't look at those pedestrians because they should be able to cross wherever and whenever they please, looking into their phones and not paying any attention to what's going on. Yes, there are folks who are driving under the influence (and not) who are being actually reckless. They ought to be dealt with under the law, but this show boating with weepy, depressed family members is pandering at it's worst.

It's sad that the kid was killed the other day. De Blasio SHOULD have simply allowed the police to do their job and deal with the person who did it. Perhaps order the Traffic division to look into what could be done, if anything to prevent similar situations (longer light, dedicated turn lights for vehicles, Islands) from happening. But noooooooo, showboating and talking utopia nonsense and shifting the blame onto a class of people is far better.

3 weeks in and De Blasio is already making some bad decisions. 4 more years eh?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"I'm A Good Mother...."

"Everybody kid cuss". Really?

Yeah. I suppose we can blame white folks for this one right?

12 Years A Slave: Permission Passes

He came out soon with the pass in his hand, and calling me a "d-d nigger that deserved a hundred lashes," threw it on the ground. I picked it up, and hurried away right speedily.

A slave caught off his master's plantation without a pass, may be seized and whipped by any white man

whom he meets. The one I now received was dated, and read as follows:

"Platt has permission to go to Ford's plantation, on Bayou Boeuf, and return by Tuesday morning.

JOHN M. TIBEATS." This is the usual form. On the way, a great many demanded it, read it, and passed on. Those having the air and appearance of gentlemen, whose dress indicated the possession of wealth, frequently took no notice of me whatever; but a shabby fellow, an unmistakable loafer, never failed to hail me, and to scrutinize and examine me in the most thorough manner. Catching runaways is sometimes a money-making business. If, after advertising, no owner appears, they may be sold to the highest bidder; and certain fees are allowed the finder for his services, at all events, even if reclaimed. "A mean white," therefore, —a name applied to the species loafer—considers it a god-send to meet an unknown negro without a pass.
Always the low man on the pole who feels the need to step on someone else isn't it.

12 Years A Slave: A Comment on Women Labour

In the course of a fortnight, four black girls came down from Eldret's plantation—Charlotte, Fanny, Cresia and Nelly. They were all large and stout. Axes were put into their hands, and they were sent

out with Sam and myself to cut trees. They were excellent choppers, the largest oak or sycamore standing but a brief season before their heavy and well-directed blows. At piling logs, they were equal to any man. There are lumberwomen as well as lumbermen in the forests of the South. In fact, in the region of the Bayou Boeuf they perform their share of all the labor required on the plantation. They plough, drag, drive team, clear wild lands, work on the highway, and so forth. Some planters, owning large cotton and sugar plantations, have none other than the labor of slave women. Such an one is Jim Burns, who lives on the north shore of the bayou, opposite the plantation of John Fogaman.
[My Emphasis]

How To Keep A Slave: 12 Years A Slave Version

Using hatchets and broad-axes upon slaves was shameful, and should not be allowed, he remarked. "This is no way of dealing with them, when first brought into the country. It will have a pernicious influence, and set them all running away. The swamps will be full of them. A little kindness would be far more effectual in restraining them, and rendering them obedient, than the use of such deadly weapons. Every planter on the bayou should frown upon such inhumanity. It is for the interest of all to do so. [my emphasis]
Reminds me of all that "he's a good white man/woman" commentary I hear when folks wanna excuse certain people's behaviors and writings. Particularly when said person is on the political left.

Friday, January 10, 2014

12 Years: Solomon The Hypocrite

In an earlier posting on the 12 Years a Slave book, I made a point to discuss how Solomon made rather derogatory statements about the
Mary, a tall, lithe girl, of a most jetty black, was listless and apparently indifferent. Like many of the class, she scarcely knew there was such a word as freedom. Brought up in the ignorance of a brute, she possessed but little more than a brute's intelligence. She was one of those, and there are very many, who fear nothing but their master's lash, and know no further duty than to obey his voice
Now here's Solomon pages later:
I think of him with affection, and had my family been with me, could have borne his gentle servitude, without murmuring, all my days.
So here's the same Solomon who had very unkind words for the "jetty black brute" who knew "nothing of freedom" saying how he would gladly serve as a slave to a "kindly master". Essentially Solomon is saying that under the "right" circumstances he would gladly be a slave. And this is somehow better than the "brute" who bends to the lash?

I see. Slavery without the lash is OK. I guess so.

A side note: I have yet to see Solomon refer to anyone not "Jetty black" as a brute. I'm only on page 108 though.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

12 Years Quotable

There were men enough in New-Orleans who would give five thousand dollars for such an extra, handsome, fancy piece as Emily would be, rather than not get her. No, no, he would not sell her then. She was a beauty—a picture—a doll—one of the regular bloods—none of your thick-lipped, bullet-headed, cotton-picking niggers—if she was might he be d--d.[My emphasis]
I suppose that's another way of sating "brute" with "brutish intelligence".

And interesting that this would be some of the same things said about black women today.

More "12 Years" Issues

[Updated 11:31 AM] So the last post on differences between the book and the movie discussed the fact that Anne Northrup was miscast as a "dark skinned" black woman (not going to get into that), when by Solomon's description she was far lighter than that. This next issue discusses his children:
At this time we were the parents of three children— Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. Elizabeth, the eldest, was in her tenth year; Margaret was two years younger, and little Alonzo had just passed his fifth birth-day. They filled our house with gladness. Their young voices were music in our ears. Many an airy castle did their mother and myself build for the little innocents. When not at labor I was always walking with them, clad in their best attire, through the streets and groves of Saratoga. Their presence was my delight; and I clasped them to my bosom with as warm and tender love as if their clouded skins had been as white as snow.[My emphasis]
"As if their clouded skins had been 'white as snow' " As far as the movie is concerned this makes the entire casting of Solomon's family completely false.

The above is TOTALLY not what the Northrop family could have looked like if we go by what was written in Solomon's biography.

Second thing is the clear adoration of things white by a soon to be abolitionist. I have had a critical opinion of black abolitionists for being no less "white supremacist" than the people they were agitating against.

Here's another fine example:

Mary, a tall, lithe girl, of a most jetty black, was listless and apparently indifferent. Like many of the class, she scarcely knew there was such a word as freedom. Brought up in the ignorance of a brute, she possessed but little more than a brute's intelligence. She was one of those, and there are very many, who fear nothing but their master's lash, and know no further duty than to obey his voice
Did Solomon call this black woman a "brute" with little more than "a brute's intelligence"? After getting his ass beat to the point where he was willing to deny he was a "free" man from New York. His ONE and ONLY time having his ass beat and being removed from his normal life, Solomon has such unkind words to speak of a person who likely has only known captivity, non-schooling? Seriously?

Sunday, January 05, 2014

12 Years A Slave: Did Anyone Know What A Quadroon Is?

In the actual text of 12 Years a Slave. Solomon Northrup describes his wife Anna Hampton as:
a colored girl then living in the vicinity of our residence...She is not able to de exact line of her descent, but the blood of three races mingles in her veins. It is difficult to tell whether the red, white predominates. The union of them all, however, in her origin, has given her a singular but pleasing expression, such be seen. Though somewhat resembling, yet she cannot properly be styled a quadroon, a class to which, I have omit mention, my mother belonged.
Can't tell whether the red or the white predominate. as in she barely resembled the woman who was cast to play her

Is it so hard to actually get people who resemble the described persons in the text? It is likely that Anna Northrup would have resembled Soledad O'Brian:

or maybe Paula Patton:

Why does it matter? Because when discussing slavery in America these things matter, particularly given the often privileged positions those persons of mixed ancestry occupied (and occupy) in America. And there was no reason for it. Solomon said what his mother and wife looked like so cast the proper folks.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Fighting to Kick the Habit

Mike Tyson tells a great story about himself:
Even when I was just an antisocial kid, stealing and jostling in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, my friends and I would question our behavior. At my lowest points, I’d still be somewhat outside myself, thinking of the effect my actions had on other people...

have such a negative self-image that I just expect bad things to happen to me. And even though I hadn’t been using for five years, all that time I just didn’t feel comfortable in my skin. I was holding secrets from my loved ones, things that I had to get off my chest because I was dying inside. That’s the worst feeling in the world, keeping things to yourself.
I will bet that many of the black boys and men who are killing other on the streets in various cities have the same feelings. In fact Gil Noble did an interview with some gang members who essentially said the same thing as Mike did.

What is key here is when Tyson spoke of Cuss D'amato and how he had instilled discipline in Mike in regards to boxing. Many of these young men acting a total [sometimes criminal] fool in public are in need of strong male models to provide them with that.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

"Terminal Stage Of Zionism"

The looming terminal stage of Zionism will be marked by crusades to crush the free speech rights of citizens inside Israel and across the West — to restrict their very ability to organize for the rights of Palestinians. Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren reflected the increasingly anti-democratic undercurrent of pro-Israel advocacy when he took to Politico to call on Congress to pass laws illegalizing Palestine solidarity activism and punishing Americans for protesting Israeli officials in public forums. 11 students at UC-Irvine have already faced a criminal prosecution for protesting Oren for literally two minuntes[sic] during a public event. So the campaign to block me from discussing my book at venues across the United States was of a part with the McCarthyite tactics that form the heart of today’s pro-Israel playbook.
And this doesn't just apply to Zionism. In the EU there is proposed legislation banning "Anti-Feminism" (among other things)
Section 2. Purpose
The purpose of this Statute is to:
(a) Promote tolerance within society without weakening the common bonds tying together a single society.
(b) Foster tolerance between different societies.
(c) Eliminate hate crimes as defined in Section 1(c).
(d) Condemn all manifestations of intolerance based on bias, bigotry and prejudice.
(e) Take concrete action to combat intolerance, in particular with a view to eliminating racism, colour bias, ethnic discrimination, religious intolerance, totalitarian ideologies, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-feminism and homophobia.
This is why I move quite far from my "liberal" compatriots. I noted a very very deep anti-democratic, particularly free speech, streak that runs in those circles. It is no longer a matter of "I disagree" but a matter of criminalizing speech one does not agree with. it has become normal to trample on the rights and freedoms of those they dislike not to protect the rights of some other group, but to prevent them from merely feeling bad.

It is a sad state of affairs.